Cost to Remove Paint – 2021

| Last Updated: November 29, 2021

National Average Improvement and Repair Cost







$ 369

$ 55

Would you do this project? According to our survey, 53% of respondents preferred DIY compared to hiring a pro.

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The average price to Remove Paint noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself.

How much does it cost to remove paint? A painting contractor charges $369 to remove paint or do it yourself for $55 and save 86 percent. 

There is no pleasant way to remove paint from wood, whether it’s an exterior door or window or a piece of furniture. It just takes time and lots of hard work, but if you’re up for the challenge, it’s a job worth doing. For woodwork pieces and furniture, you have the option of having it commercially stripped.

However, the chemicals used are harsh and may damage the wood. But for any painted built-ins, hand stripping is the way to go. Sometimes it’s not easy to get an estimate because the removal depends on the surface, the type of paint and/or varnish that covers it, and the number of layers to be removed. For those same reasons the removal technique can vary too. And once the finish is removed, sanding is needed to restore the wood to its original luster. In general, a painting contractor will charge $369 to remove three layers of paint and varnish from a 3-by-5-foot double-hung window. This includes labor and material. You can buy the materials for $55 and do it yourself, saving 86 percent. You’ll earn that in the eight hours of work needed to get the job done.

You’ll need a heat gun, gel-type chemical stripper, steel wool, after-wash, and sandpaper or a palm sander. If a heat gun works, it’s the easiest and least messy. If it doesn’t, attack the finish with a stripper. Use a sturdy cardboard box with its flaps cut off at the top as a dumping place for the residue of scraped paint and gunk. As you work, wipe the globs of softened paint on the scraper onto the sides of the box. The gunk usually hardens into globs of dried paint, so scrape it off into the box.

Before you begin, use an inexpensive lead-paint kit to test for lead paint and check with the EPA’s Web site

That sums it up. Knowing the average cost to remove paint lets you compare doing it yourself with what you can expect to pay a contractor.

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Welcome! We hope you’ll find the job costs of home improvement projects useful when you’re deciding whether to do a job yourself vs. hire a contractor. We’re the authors of 20 home improvement books, most notably Home Improvement for Dummies©, Bathroom Remodeling for Dummies©, Carpentry for Dummies©, Plumbing for Dummies©, and Painting and Wallpapering for Dummies©. Our most recent book Fix It and Flip It is in its second edition. We’ve appeared as home improvement experts on television programs such as CNN, Dateline, the Today Show, HGTV and many others.