How to Remove Gloss Paint

If you’ve noticed that the old gloss on your skirting boards or door frames is starting to yellow and you think it’s time for a new coat of paint, you might be wondering how to remove gloss paint.

Whilst some glosses will allow you to simply paint over the old layers with next to no preparation, you’ll get a much better finish that’ll be easier to achieve by removing the old gloss first.

How to Remove Gloss Paint

There are two ways you can remove gloss paint: you can either use a good quality paint stripper or use a heat gun. Both methods will bubble and blister the old gloss, making it easy to scrape off.

paint being scraped off of wood

Method One: Removing Old Gloss With a Paint Stripper

  1. Make sure you’ve prepared everything. This means putting down dust sheets for the removed paint, making sure you’re wearing the appropriate clothing/safety gear and having the area you’re going to be working in well ventilated.
  2. According to the instructions that come with your chosen paint stripper, apply a little bit of it on a test area to make sure it works appropriately on your surface.
  3. Apply the paint stripper liberally to a target area and wait however long the instructions tell you to. Some paint strippers might take mere minutes whereas others might take up to a few hours.
  4. Once the old gloss has bubbled up and blistered, you can go ahead and use a scraper to scrape it from the surface.
  5. Working in sections, continue the process until all of the gloss has been removed.

Method Two: Removing Old Gloss With a Heat Gun

Using a heat gun is definitely the quicker and less messy method of the two and is especially useful for removing old gloss from wooden surfaces.

  1. Read the instruction manual carefully and take all the safety precautions you need to. The last thing you want is to get a burn from a heat gun!
  2. Once all safety procedures have been observed, point the heat gun at an area of the old gloss.
  3. When the gloss starts bubbling and blistering, you can take your scraper and start removing it.
  4. Working in lines, repeat the same method until all the gloss has been removed.
  5. When removing gloss from an area higher than your eye line, use a step ladder. This will ensure you don’t accidentally drop any of the incredibly hot gloss onto you.


By using one of the two methods mentioned above you should be on your way to removing any old gloss, leaving a perfect surface with which to paint on.

We’d recommend using a heat gun for most wooden surfaces as it’s typically an easier process. However, it’s not quite as useful on other surfaces such as metal as it can leave burn marks that are difficult to remove, leaving you with a whole new problem. If removing gloss from metal then a paint stripper is more ideal.