Stripping VS. Sanding Wood: Which is Better?

Stripping and sanding are two different methods used to prepare wood for finishing or refinishing. The choice between stripping and sanding depends on the condition of the wood, the type of the coating you are trying to remove, and the desired end result. Here’s a comparison of the two processes:

1. Stripping:

   – Purpose:Stripping is mainly used to remove existing finishes, such as paint, varnish, or stain, from the wood surface.

   – Method: Chemical strippers or gel-like substances are applied to the wood surface. These chemicals break down the existing finish, making it easier to scrape or wipe away.









     – Effective for removing old finishes and layers of paint.

     – Preserves the natural texture and character of the wood.

     – Can be less labour-intensive for certain projects.


     – Some chemical strippers may be toxic, so proper safety precautions are necessary.

     – Requires careful disposal of removed finish and stripper residues.

Home Strip® Paint and Varnish Remover removes all the hazards connected with paint removers. Most paint strippers have just replaced one hazardous solvent with another, but Eco Solutions innovative technology removes the hazardous solvent content and replaces it with water. Home Strip® is ideal for use by do-it-yourself enthusiasts, as well as professional users. Economical to use – Goes further than hazardous solvent based strippers – Minimal VOC content (0.000004%, as certified by independent laboratory detection test).

Sanding veneered furniture requires careful consideration because veneer is a thin layer of wood applied to a base material, often particleboard or MDF (medium-density fibreboard). Sanding can potentially damage the veneer if not done properly. Here are some considerations and tips to avoid damaging veneered furniture during sanding:


2. Sanding:

   – Purpose: Sanding is done to smooth the wood surface, remove imperfections, and prepare the wood for a new finish.

   – Method: Sandpaper or power sanders are used to abrade the wood surface, removing the top layers and creating a smoother, more even finish.







     – Provides a smooth and even surface.

     – Suitable for removing surface scratches, dents, or imperfections.

     – Can be used to adjust the level of stain penetration into the wood.


     – Generates dust, so proper respiratory protection is essential.

     – May alter the natural texture and patina of the wood.

*Wood dust can pose health hazards to individuals, especially those regularly exposed to it in woodworking or related industries. The potential health effects depend on factors such as the type of wood, the size of the dust particles, the duration of exposure, and the presence of other contaminants mainly found in the coating you are removing by sanding, releasing ever more hazardous dust into the air. If the wood was painted before 1978, the paint may contain lead. Sanding this type of paint is not recommended. Lead-based paint must be removed by using a suitable paint remover.

Home Strip® Paint and Varnish Remover is a “working wet system” that keeps the paint wet at all times and significantly reducing any risk of dust, making the removal of lead-based paints a much safer project.


Choosing Between Stripping and Sanding:

– Existing Finish: If the wood has an existing finish that needs to be removed, stripping is typically the preferred method.

– Surface Imperfections: If the wood has surface imperfections, scratches, or uneven areas, sanding is more appropriate.

– Preserving Wood Character: If you want to preserve the natural character of the wood, stripping is generally better as it minimises the removal of wood material.

– Efficiency: Stripping can be more time-efficient for removing multiple layers of paint or stubborn finishes, while sanding is efficient for achieving a smooth, even surface.

In some cases, a combination of both stripping and sanding may be necessary to achieve the desired results. Always follow safety guidelines and use appropriate protective equipment when engaging in either process.

Where can I buy Eco Solutions Paint & Varnish Remover?

Our Home and Trade Strip product stockists can be found here. Any issues getting hold of Home Strip® Paint & Varnish Remover, please drop us a message, and we can direct you to our nearest supplier.

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