How to strip paint off wood furniture (2 day project)

I’m sharing how I stripped the paint off my coffee table. Spoiler: it was SO EASY!

Originally, this table was stained a dark expresso. I wanted a change and painted it white 4-5 years ago. We use this table a lot and the paint had slowly started to chip around the edges. After a year of seeing it chip away, I decided to refinish it.

I didn’t have anything in mind – no expectations. I knew I just wanted the wood tone back to avoid the paint chipping situation. And also no expresso stain – much too dark! But that wasn’t an issue at all. The paint stripper I used stripper that right off too, haha!

It was a lot easier than I expected. Here’s how I did it.


I laid out a tarp to protect the garage floor.

I used this stripper. I found it at Rona.

I poured and then spread out the stripper. What I learned was that the thicker the coating, the more effortless it was when it came time to removal. So pour it on thick!

See how easily it scrapes off? No effort at all.

I left it on for barely 15 minutes and it was scrape-able already.

It might look like a mess in the photo below, but I promise you, the end result is so worth it.

The sides were a bit tedious to do as the stripper dripped down and didn’t have enough time to do its magic. I used plastic wrap to wrap it so that it would stay longer but in the end I just turned the table on all four of its sides and let the stripper work.

It wasn’t completely clear of stain and paint as the sanding step could help get rid of the stubborn bits.

After I finished stripping the paint, I used a wet cloth to wipe down the table. This ‘deactivates’ the stripper. Not sure how necessary this step was but I watched a few YouTube videos that suggested it so I did it. Liv helped me with this part.

Then I let it try overnight.

The next morning it looked alot lighter and more weathered looking. I sanded and then wiped it down. It was such a beautiful tone! There were some white bits that were stuck in the grooves of the wood but they didn’t stand out so it didn’t bother me.

I applied the stain and it brought out the white parts more! EEEK!

So I decided to sand it down again. This time I worked the sander into the natural texture of the wood more. I didn’t get every white bit out but it was definitely more blended in. I didn’t want to have concave dips from oversanding.

I applied the stain again and it worked! I used ‘Natural’ by Minwax. I dipped my cloth into it, wiped it onto the table and quickly took a dry cloth to wipe it right off. I didn’t want it too intense.

I let the stain dry overnight and that was it!

Coffee table 1 / 2 / 3

Have you stripped paint before?

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