How to Remove Crackle Paint

What You'll Need
Paint scrapper
Rubber gloves
Paint stripper - paste or spray that will cling
Eye protection
Old newspapers
Clean, soft, 100% cotton rags
Paper towels
Steel wool
Lacquer thinner
Sandpaper in a variety of grits, from fine to medium grit
Sanding block
Plastic drop-cloth
Natural bristle brush paint brushes
Small paint can, bucket or glass jar
Stiff natural or brass bristle brush

Crackle paint is a lot easier to remove than to apply. With the right tools and a little patience you can easily remove crackle paint from furniture, cabinets and even walls.

Step 1-Dress for Safety

Paint stripper is caustic, and even the supposedly non-toxic kind can dry your skin. Paste and liquid stripper can splash into your eyes, even if you're careful. Sandpaper kicks up dust and paint chips. Wear rubber gloves, long sleeves and eye protection when stripping any kind of paint.

Step 2-Prepare Your Work Area

Lay down a plastic paint cloth around and under the object you plan to strip. Lay several layers of newspapers on top of the plastic. Remove and replace them with fresh papers as they become covered with stripped paint. The plastic sheeting will protect your floor if the newspaper leaks, or the stripper or paint thinner soaks through.

Step 3-Apply Paint Stripper

Using your paint brushes, apply the paint stripper to a small area. Brush it on in one direction. Apply it thickly and let it sit for 10 to 30 minutes, or until the paint starts to visibly wrinkle, blister and pull away from the surface. This means the stripper is working.

Step 4-Remove Paint Stripper

Once you see signs the stripper is working, use the paint stripper to begin scraping the paint up. The layers of paint should come up easily. If not, let the stripper sit for another 10 minutes. Go slow and use shallow angles to avoid gouging the wood or surface you are stripping. You may have to repeat this step several times, depending on the number of layers of paint. If you are trying to completely strip the surface to bare wood, you'll need to repeat this step a number of times, and then follow up with paint thinner and sandpaper until all traces of paint are removed. Some paint color may remain. This is most likely color that has gotten into the wood grain. Use paint thinner, your stiff bristle brush or steel wool to remove these traces. Also use the brush to remove any paint stripper from crevices, cracks and hard to reach places.

Step 5-Apply and Remove Paint Thinner

If you are removing the crackle paint so you can repaint the object or wall, your last steps will be to apply paint thinner to remove the last traces of paint and stripper residue, and then to sand. Apply a thin layer of paint thinner with a soft rag and buff with your stiff brush and steel wool. Finally, wipe down the object, wall or surface with clean rags and allow the surface to dry overnight.

Step 6-Sand away Last Stripper and Paint Residue

Using sandpaper, sand away any stripper or paint residue left on the item. Use clean rags or cheesecloth to get rid of any dust from the sanding. Paint, stain or seal the surface as desired.