How to Scrape Off Paint

Jupiterimages/ Images

Things You'll Need

  • Flat-blade scraper or putty knife
  • Rags

Removing peeling paint from areas such as wooden windowsills or the exterior of the home requires a certain amount of scraping. You need to remove the peeling paint before you can apply a new coat. Certain scraping tools make the job easier and less destructive on surfaces such as wood, while improper scraping may leave surfaces with dents and gouges. Scrape paint correctly for a smooth surface on which to apply new coats of paint.

Position the paint scraper or putty knife at the edge of the paint. Lay the scraper as flat as possible. You want to remove the paint, but not dig into the wood.

Move the scraper across and under the paint horizontally 4 to 5 inches. Start the scraper under the area you just scraped, pushing it under the paint and across the wood. Continue scraping in this manner, working in small sections as you remove the paint. After scraping three to four times, wipe the loosened paint from the surface with a clean rag.

Move the scraper up and down and back and forth in different directions, if needed, to remove all specks of paint from the surface. Continue scraping and wiping until you can no longer scrape the paint from the surface without gouging the wood.


  • Sand remaining paint marks with a coarse-grit sandpaper to remove them completely.


About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images