Can A Planer Be Used To Remove Paint: Uncovering The Truth

A good planer is invaluable for doing woodwork and crafting well-made wooden items, but could it do more? Can your planer be used to remove paint and other stains on the surface of your boards? It makes sense that it should. After all, a planer is a type of blade designed to create a long thin, even slice removing a surface layer of wood. Should you be worried about dirtying up the blade? You’d be surprised at how versatile a planer is. After years of working on DIY projects, I’ve used my planer to do numerous jobs. I will walk you through the capabilities and explain how and why it works. The good news is that you will take anything off the surface of your boards, and that includes paint. We’ll get that wood smooth in no time with the right information.

Can a planer be used to remove paint? A planer can be used to remove paint. Although running it gently along the surface may not do the trick, you can achieve this effect with a deeper blade setting. You need to set your blades, so they dig deep enough to get under the layer or layers of paint you wish to remove. 

Can You Use A Hand Planer To Remove Paint From Wood

Wood is the best surface to use a planer on when you want to remove paint. Since your planer is quite literally made to stop very thin layers of wood off the surface of a larger board, it’s ideal for painted wood as well. The trick is making certain you go deep enough to remove the wood below the paint.

Trying to strip paint but not wood will result in a mess. Your planer blade will gum up, and you’ll be left with a painted board and a useless planer. It’s a lot of cleanup for minimal reward unless you dig just a little deeper.

How To Use A Hand Planer To Remove Paint

All you need to use your hand planer to remove paint from wood is a planer, painted wood, and a way to check for any metal below the paint. A stud finder works well to check for nails. Follow these four simple steps to get rid of the paint quickly and efficiently.

  1. Check for any metal piece under the paint. A stud finder or small, powerful magnet works well for this step. You don’t want to catch a blade on a small nail.
  2. Clamp your painted wood down to a solid surface like a table. If the board shifts under your hand, you won’t get a smooth or even removal.
  3. Starting at one end, press the blade into the wood. The idea is to get all the paint and the thinnest possible layer of wood.
  4. Using long, even strokes, remove layers of painted wood.

Using a great electric model like the WEN 6528 3.8-Amp Electric Hand Planer from Amazon will help you remove that troublesome paint fast and accurately. At just four-point-three pounds, this lightweight planer won’t weigh you down. Unnecessary hand fatigue can make a project take far longer than you expected. With a kickstand to prevent damage and an onboard storage slot for the blade adjustment wrench, you’ll have everything you need. To read the outstanding reviews, click here. 

Can I Use a Planer to Remove Varnish

Although removing varnish with a planer is slightly different from using it on paint, the concept and practice are similar. Varnish soaks into the wood a little better than paint, but it will come off if you remove the wood beneath. You can take off a layer of varnish quickly with a planer.

Other than your planer, or a similar mechanical method like sanding, you can use a stripper. Furthermore, you can opt to combine both methods for a fantastic result. Pre-stripping some varnish first means less work with your planer. However, the varnish stripper isn’t necessary.

Can You Use A Planer To Remove Stain

Removing stain with a planer works the same as varnish or paint. Like varnish, the stain will get deeper inside the wood than paint. However, the positive side to varnish and stains is that they don’t gunk up your blades as fast if you fail to dig in deep enough.

Before removing anything with your planer, remember to check for any nails or screws. Small pieces of metal will catch and chip your blade.

The Mallofusa Electric Wood Planer from Amazon is a terrific way to smooth and resurface your wood for projects. The contoured top handle makes it easy to work with the Mallofusa. Moreover, you get a planer, blade sharpener, and instruction manual included making even it easier. You’ll appreciate the true value of this simple but highly effective tool as soon as you start using it. Find out for yourself by clicking here. 

What Is The Best Way To Remove Paint From Wood

There are several methods for removing paint from wood and depending on where your wood is located, each has its benefits. You can use a planer to remove paint from wood. However, this method is best for flat boards. Preferably, you need flat boards removed from any surface and clamped down solidly on a table.

To remove the paint from other surfaces, and textured surfaces, you need to choose a different method. Each of the following is best for certain types of paint removal. You can use a paint stripper, a heat gun and scraper, or sanding with either a sandblaster, sandpaper, or an industrial sanding machine.

Paint Stripper Method

Paint stripper is exactly what it sounds like. This chemical compound is designed to break down the paint on any surface. For obvious reasons, you don’t want to use a planer on non-wood surfaces, or molding, for example. In cases like these, a paint stripper is your best friend.

Available as a liquid, paste, or gel, you paint on the solvent per the instructions. After it has had sufficient time to dissolve the paint, you scrape or wipe it away. Varied brands will have slightly different instructions on how best to accomplish this. I suggest following the manufacturer’s directions for the best results.

Typically, you will need steel wool or paint thinner to remove the residue when you’re done stripping the paint. Though the paint stripper causes the active molecules inside that paint to swell, you may have a little paint and chemical left on your surfaces.

The advantage is that you can work on any surface that isn’t going to dissolve, and it reaches tiny crevices easily. The downside to using a paint stripper is that it is harsh, often toxic, and messy. Additionally, always read the directions as some materials won’t fare well under a layer of paint stripper.


Sand will strip anything. Diamonds might hold up, but anything less is going to lose a few layers. Thus, sanding is a fantastic way to remove paint from a huge area. If you need to strip a floor, walls, or another substantial area, sand is the way to go. As a bonus, you get a nice, easy to repaint surface.

The downside to using sand in any of its forms is that you will get a mess. Moreover, you need to wear eye protection. Plus, sanding can yield uneven results if you are incautious.

A good planer has none of the disadvantages of other methods, but it will only work on flat wooden surfaces. So long as you dig deep enough to strip wood rather than scraping a layer of paint alone, you will get the desired results. Moreover, it is easy to remove a thin, even layer of wood.

I recommend the upgraded WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer. Not only do you get the planer, but it comes with a parallel fence bracket, kickstand, and dust bag as well. Additionally, WEN offers a two-year warranty so you can plane away without worries. Have Amazon deliver to your door when you click here

Final Thoughts

Skip the sandblasting. It’s messy and annoying. If you have a planer, you can use it to strip the paint quickly and easily from boards. It’s all a matter of learning to set your depth correctly. Fortunately, you can always switch the setting if yours isn’t working.

When in doubt, start with a shallower cut and a wider angle on your planer. Removing thin layers of wood is as much an art as a science. You can always cut deeper, but you can never add more wood to the surface. It’s always better to make multiple cuts rather than digging too deep, resulting in needing a new board.

The best wood planers in the world can slice off a layer of wood as thin as a human blood cell with a hand planer, but don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes you a while to get it right for regular cuts. With patience and some practice, you’ll be stripping that paint like an old pro in no time flat.

Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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