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How to Remove Paint From Wood: 3 Ways to Strip Old Paint

Written by the MasterClass staff

Last updated: Nov 8, 2020 • 5 min read

If you're restoring a wood surface—whether it's a treasured piece of old furniture or a door that needs a fresh look—you’ll probably want to strip off the old paint and start clean. There are three main methods for removing paint from wood, and each method has its own pros and cons. Whichever you choose, make sure to follow all recommended safety measures; if your paint was produced before 1978, it may contain lead, and the EPA strongly suggests you hire a professional to avoid exposure to toxic lead dust.