Walls framed by baseboards and crown molding exude unmistakable character and polish, most notably in historical homes adorned by ornate crown moldings, built-in bookcases, and pocket doors. While removing layers of paint from intricate trim is labor-intensive, the right tools and techniques and a little patience can return even the most elaborate moldings and custom woodwork to their former good looks. First, pull on your protective gear—old clothing, goggles, a respirator mask, and solvent-resistant gloves—and then start prepping your work area. While a few of the newer paint strippers on the market are low-VOC, which means that they contain fewer volatile organic compounds, many emit toxic fumes, so adequate ventilation is essential.
How to Remove Paint from Wood Trim
| Better Homes & Gardens
Finding out which wood stripping method to use, and how to contain the debris, makes a messy job cleaner, safer, and more effective. Everyone knows that the simplest way to rejuvenate a tired surface is to put on a fresh coat of paint. Eventually, however, all new paint becomes old paint. Whether it cracks and blisters or just forms a lumpy blanket of pigments and binders, it begs to come off. The ideal way to start over is to strip furniture of the old stuff and begin with a baby-smooth, bare wood surface.
How To: Remove Paint from Trim and Molding