How To Remove Paint From Wood With Vinegar

Painting wooden surfaces always gives them a fresh and new look. However, when it comes to removing paint from wood, it can be quite a challenging task. Paint can be stubborn and hard to remove, especially if it has been on the surface for a long time. Fortunately, there are many ways to remove paint from wood, and one of the most effective and inexpensive methods is using vinegar. In this article, we will discuss how to remove paint from wood with vinegar, step-by-step.

What is Vinegar?

Vinegar is an acidic liquid that is commonly used in cooking and cleaning. It is made by fermenting ethanol with acetic acid bacteria. Vinegar has a pH of around 2.5, which makes it a mild acid. This acidity helps to break down the bonds between the paint and the wooden surface, making it easier to remove.

What You Will Need

Before you begin, gather the following materials:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • A scraper
  • A scrub brush
  • A bucket
  • A sponge

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Paint from Wood with Vinegar

Step 1: Prepare the Vinegar Solution

Mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a bucket. For example, if you use one cup of water, use one cup of vinegar.

Step 2: Apply the Vinegar Solution to the Painted Surface

Using a sponge, apply the vinegar solution to the painted surface. Make sure to cover the entire area.

Step 3: Let the Vinegar Solution Sit

Let the vinegar solution sit on the painted surface for at least 30 minutes. This will give the solution enough time to break down the paint.

Step 4: Scrape the Paint

After 30 minutes, use a scraper to remove the paint from the wooden surface. Be gentle, as you don’t want to damage the wood.

Step 5: Scrub the Surface

Use a scrub brush to remove any remaining paint from the wooden surface. Be sure to scrub gently to avoid damaging the wood.

Step 6: Rinse the Surface

Rinse the wooden surface with water to remove any leftover vinegar solution and paint residue.

Step 7: Dry the Surface

Use a clean towel to dry the wooden surface thoroughly. This will prevent any water damage to the wood.


Q: Can I use any type of vinegar to remove paint from wood?

A: Yes, you can use any type of vinegar, including apple cider vinegar and white vinegar. However, white vinegar is the most commonly used type of vinegar for this purpose.

Q: How long does it take for vinegar to remove paint from wood?

A: It usually takes around 30 minutes for vinegar to break down the paint on the wooden surface.

Q: Can vinegar damage the wood?

A: Vinegar is a mild acid, so it can damage the wood if it is left on the surface for too long. Therefore, it is important to rinse the wooden surface with water after using vinegar to remove paint.


Removing paint from wood can be a difficult task, but with vinegar, it becomes much easier. Vinegar is an inexpensive and effective way to remove paint from wooden surfaces. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can remove paint from wood with vinegar in a safe and efficient manner.