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A chalk paint job can look beautiful when done correctly, but sometimes you may not want that look (perhaps you have a piece of furniture that has layers of thick chalk paint on it?) or there may be a possibility that the paint on your wooden surface will become old. So, if you have been thinking about removing chalk paint from furniture or wood but aren’t sure how, we can assist you.

Using several methods, I’ll show you how to remove chalk paint from furniture easily. In addition, I will also guide you on How to remove chalk paint from wood, walls, glass, and other surfaces.

removing chalk paint

Is chalk paint easily removed?

It can be challenging to remove chalk paint, but with the right tools, techniques, and safety precautions, it can be done. In comparison with other types of paint, waxed chalk paint cannot be directly painted over and is more difficult to remove. However, un waxed chalk paint does not require primer and can be painted over without having to remove it.

The 4 Best Methods of How to Remove Chalk Paint

It may take more effort to remove chalk paint than it would to paint over it. So, if you want to get rid of chalk paint, you can use one of the following methods, depending on the size of the surface. Chalk paint can be removed in a variety of ways:

1. How To Remove Chalk Paint From Wood by Sanding

Chalk paint can be removed from wood most naturally by sanding. The time-consuming process of sanding significantly produces more dust than you might expect, which is why you should work in a well-ventilated area, wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling dust and keep the vents covered.

The materials required to get rid of chalk paint

Remove Wax

It is important to remove wax from wood before sanding. So, take a paper towel or cloth and dip it into turpentine, then gently rub it over the chalk paint. By doing this, you will be able to remove the wax from the wood and let the wood dry. You can use this method for small areas or for removing paint from specific areas on a spot basis.

use sandpaper to remove chalk paint

Use coarse grit sandpaper to sand

You should remove the thick layer of chalk paint by using 60 coarse grit sandpaper. when you sand, Dust can become a problem so you need to vacuum as you sand. Incase, when your sandpaper is clogged with chalk paint, you will need to replace it with new sandpaper to keep it working properly.

Use fine grit sandpaper to sand

As the paint layers thin, use a different grit of sandpaper (80, 100, 120) and you can see the wood’s natural tone beneath. When you have sanded the paint to your desired level, wipe it clean with a damp cloth or damp rag and allow it to dry.

Finishing Look

The only thing left to do is apply some type of oil to finish off the piece of furniture. You can apply three coats of Watco 65551 Danish Oil, which is specifically designed for furniture pieces. As a result, the wood will look more natural as well as be protected from unpleasant stains.

2. How to Remove Chalk Paint Using Paint Stripper

You can strip chalk paint from furniture, wood floor and kitchen cabinets. When using chemical paint strippers, make sure you:

  • Choose a Non Toxic paint stripper like the Bio strip 20 Paint Stripper or Smart strip formula.
  • Even if paint stripper is non-toxic, it still contains chemicals. So you should wear gloves and protective eyewear before starting the process.
  • Maintain a well-ventilated workspace.
  • Keep other surfaces away from the paint stripper.

What You Need to Remove Chalk Paint

  • Gloves
  • Drop cloth
  • Paintbrush
  • Face mask
  • Putty knife
  • Paint stripper
  • Plastic sheet
  • Clean cloth
  • Soapy water and bucket
  • Fine grit sandpaper 100 and 120

Apply Paint Stripper

There are a few ways to remove chalk paint, including using paint strippers. In general, chalk paint can be removed using a paint stripper in the following steps:

Use drop cloths to cover any areas you don’t want to strip.

Apply a thick coat of chemical paint stripper to wood surfaces. It is usually applied with a brush or spray, then allow the paint stripper to work for about 30 minutes to an hour. If you would like to remove multiple paint layers from a large area, this method works best.

Remove Paint With a Scraper

When the paint looks creased, it’s time to get rid of the paint. With a paint scraper or putty knife, you can gently remove loosened chalk paint. But make sure not to scrape the wood with it.

Remove Remaining Paint

You can dip steel wool in soapy water and scrub it to remove any remaining paint. Wash the surface with a damp rag to remove residue.

Make sure it’s completely dry before you start repainting or staining the surface.

Please Note: Paint stripper is not recommended for use on heat-sensitive surfaces, such as plastic or aluminum.

Sandpaper To Smooth Surface

After about 12 to 24 hours, make sure it’s completely dry. After that, use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out the grain of the wood. Wipe a damp cloth over the dust to remove it.

3. Removing chalk paint with paint solvent- Find out the best chalk paint remover

Chalk paint can be removed using a paint solvent in a similar way to paint stripper. As a general guide, here are the steps:

  • Use drop cloths to protect areas that shouldn’t be touched by solvents.
  • Wear protective clothing to protect your skin and work in well-ventilated areas.

You will need the following materials to remove chalk paint with solvents: 

  • Protective clothing
  • Scrubbing sponge
  • Paper towels
  • Mineral spirits or other paint solvent
  • Warm water

Use Warm Water

Fill a bucket with warm water and soak the wood surface. Let the paint soften in the water for a few minutes. As the paint loosens, it will begin to peel off.

Scrub The Chalk Paint

scrub the chalk paint away with a scrubbing sponge

Work on one section at a time, scrub the paint away with a scrubbing sponge. Replace warm water as needed for rinsing the sponge. 

After removing the paint, wipe the wood with a clean paper towel.

Apply Other Paint Solvent

Now use mineral spirits or any other paint solvent to scrub the chalk paint even more. In comparison to water, mineral spirits remove wood paint much more effectively.

Rinse & Dry

Rinse the wood with water after removing excess paint. Let the entire surface dry completely.

Sand The Wood

Use fine-grit sandpaper to sand the wood smooth, then wipe with a paper towel and allow it to dry.

See our recent guide for more information about distressing chalk paint furniture.

4. How to remove paint with a heat gun

Heat gun vs Sanding for removing paint

It is most commonly asked: Can I remove paint with a heat gun?

Heat gun vs Sanding

Heat guns are preferred over sanding for removing paint from wood because they are easier and less messy than sanding which produces dust.

Heat Gun vs Chemical Paint Remover

Also, if we compare heat guns to remove paint from wood with paint strippers, then this method is safer than using a paint stripper. This is because it doesn’t release harmful fumes.

Using a heat gun to remove chalk paint from glass or furniture is suitable for both thick and thin layers.

How hot should a heat gun be to remove paint?

When removing paint using a heat gun, the temperature should range between 500 and 800 ℉. To avoid damaging the surface underneath the paint, it is best to use the lowest possible temperature and take proper safety precautions.

A hair dryer will be helpful if you do not own a heat gun.

It is important to follow the following instructions when using a heat gun:

  • Wear goggles or a safety shield. 
  • If there is an emergency, keep an extinguisher and water nearby.
  • You should wear protective leather gloves rather than plastic gloves.
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Protective gloves
  • Face shield
  • Respirator
  • Clean paper towels
  • Heat gun
  • Metal putty knife
  • Fine grit sandpaper

How to Use a Heat Gun to Remove Paint

Put the heat gun on medium-high and hold it at 45 degrees from the surface you want to remove, eight to ten inches away from the wood.

Move the heat gun slowly over the painted surface, ensuring that the paint is heated evenly.

When the paint is soft, raised, and bubbly, scrape or use a putty knife to gently remove it.

If any paint remains on the wood, sand it to remove it. During the sanding process, you will be able to achieve a smooth and even surface on the wood.

If any paint residue remains, wipe it down with a damp cloth. Be careful when working with heat, as the gun can damage some surfaces.

Please Note: If you are planning to use a heat gun, first test it on a small area.

Conclusion On How to remove chalk paint

Taking chalk paint off is a time-consuming task. However, if you follow the tips in this guide on how to remove chalk paint, you will be able to do it much more quickly and easily in the future.

To keep it short, the best way to remove chalk paint is usually to scrape or sand it off. However, if you are looking for a faster solution, use chemical solvents and paint removers. And, be careful to follow safety precautions and pick what works for you!

FAQS On Removing Chalk Paint

1. Does vinegar remove chalk paint?

Yes, Vinegar works well for removing chalk paint. A reaction between calcium carbonate and acetic acid causes chalk paint to dissolve in vinegar. Vinegar may also react with other types of paint, so you should test a small area before using it on an entire surface. Additionally, vinegar can damage some surfaces if used improperly.

2. How to remove chalk paint from plastic?

For removing dried paint on plastic:

It is safer to remove dried paint from plastic with rubbing alcohol, since it won’t melt the plastic like harsh paint thinners do. Here are the steps for removing chalk paint from plastic:

  • You can gently scrape off the paint using a plastic scraper or putty knife.
  • Now, use a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits to rub the paint until it starts to come off.
  • Once again, wash off the paint with a warm, soapy water solution.

For removing fresh paint on plastic:

  • You can wash off fresh paint with warm soapy water and then clean it with paper towels.
  • Alternatively, you can apply vegetable oil to the affected area and rub it. Wipe the surface afterwards with a clean paper towel.
  • Continually repeat the steps until all paint is removed or until it starts to come off.

3. How to remove chalk paint from fabric?

The affected area can be treated with a vinegar-water solution or fabric paint remover. Then scrub it with a sponge to get chalk paint off fabric.

The basic thing to do with both methods is to test a small area first to ensure the fabric is not discolored or damaged.

Jennifer Marie-Holapaints writer

Jennifer Marie

Jennifer Marie is a general contractor with over the years of experience in home remodeling, DIY projects, and commercial painting projects. Her experience includes working with paint sprayers, painting tools, and other painting supplies. You can follow her on Facebook.

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