Paint Stripping: Is It a Necessary Process?

How many times have you repainted your doors? Is it necessary to do the stripping process before doing one more repaint on your old items? 

This is a question that is very likely posed by homeowners. While we can confirm that it’s not necessary to do the stripping before applying paint, we can definitely say that paint on bare wood looks way better. 

In cases when there are not so many layers of paint on the wooden item, and when it is in a good condition, adding an additional layer of paint won’t be an issue. However, in cases when the items have several layers of paint that have already started to flake or they are too old, stripping is essential. 

Getting a better end result is always the case if you go through the stripping and full restoration process. But why do people want to skip this step? Because it requires effort, time and money. 

So, while sometimes it is essential to do the stripping before any paint finish on the wooden item, other times stripping won’t be that necessary. To help you figure out whether your item needs paint stripping or not, we are sharing this brief guide with you.

Is Your Painted Wooden Furniture a Source of Unsafe Lead?

Before we delve into whether it is necessary to strip a certain piece or not, we have to accentuate the health complications that several layers of paint at your door can cause you. When this is the case, stripping is essential to get rid of the potential lead lurking within the paint. 

Therefore, owners of houses from 1978 should be aware that their house can have lead paint on some items. Lead paint can have hazardous effects especially on young children, pregnant women and pets. In this case, it’s for the best to leave it to professionals to do the work, because of the plenty of precautions that need to be taken just so you can safely deal with lead. 

Some of the basics when dealing with lead are: 

  • P100 or N100 masks are essential - Using only these 2 types of masks will protect you when dealing with lead particles. Surgical masks or dust masks won’t do much.
  • Sealing the area with plastic to contain dust - To contain dust particles to spread around the room, you need to seal off the area completely. 
  • HEPA Vacuum to clean the dust - A regular vacuum won’t do the job. You have to use a completely sealed and certified HEPA Vacuum, just so the lead particles don’t spread into the air and your home.

When Is Stripping Paint Necessary?

Now, let’s get to the point and go through the list of points to see when paint stripping is really necessary. 

  1. Flaking Paint 

If the current paint on your door is already flaking, then applying new paint over it won’t look good and won’t last as well. In this case, stripping to bare wood is what you should do to provide a solid foundation for any paint finish. 

  1. Paint Build Up

Do you know that several coats of paint can lead to paint peeling, even though the paint can be healthy? When the layer of paint is too thick it will start peeling off which can cost you money, requiring an extra effort. That’s why it is essential to do the stripping before applying any paint on. 

  1. Lead Paint 

As mentioned above, when there is a case of lead paint, it has to be stripped. However, it is better to leave this type of stripping to professionals who will use all the right equipment and leave no space for any potential health hazards that lead paint can cause. 

  1. Change in Finishes

If you are switching from a painted finish to a varnish finish or from an oil to latex, then it would be better to strip the paint first and continue with the process. The upper layer will be conditioned to last as much as it matches the layer beneath it. For that purpose, stripping the layers to the bare wood is recommended. 


Once you know all the points in which cases paint stripping is essential, you can determine whether your wooden items would require stripping before applying a new layer of paint or that won’t be necessary. We, at Paint Removing always recommend that stripping is a needed step because of how the new paint will look and how long it will last on bare wood. So, to be on the safe side choose stripping always before applying new paint to your wooden items.