In a quest to find the solution for tackling the task of removing paint from wood, I embarked on a journey, testing nine different products. And what I discovered was nothing short of remarkable.

Among the contenders, one sander emerged as the undisputed champion. The Makita 9403 4″ X 24″ Belt Sander proved itself to be the Best Sander For Removing Paint From Wood.

With lots of understanding, I delved into the nuances of this top choice. But that’s not all; I also delved into the specific scenarios where different sanders excel.

So, if you’re ready to discover the most effective and efficient way to bid farewell to unwanted paint on your wooden surfaces, keep reading.

Our Top Picks

Best Sander For Removing Paint From Wood

  1. Best OverallMakita 9403 4″ X 24″ Belt Sander
  2. Best Bang for the BuckMouse Detail Sander, TECCPO 14,000 OPM
  3. Best Electric Sander for Paint RemovalMakita BO5041 5″ Random Orbit Sander
  4. Best Sander for Wood SidingBLACK+DECKER Mouse Detail Sander
  5. Best for Quick TasksBLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander
  6. Best Battery Powered Orbit SanderDEWALT 20V MAX Random Orbit Sander
  7. Best Sander for Exterior Paint RemovalWagner Spraytech 0513040 PaintEater
  8. Best Duo Mode Orbital SanderBOSCH Power Tools – GET75-6N
  9. Best Sander for Doors and TrimsPORTER-CABLE Random Orbit Sander

Paint Sander Reviews (Updated List)

1. Best Overall – Makita 9403 4″ X 24″ Belt Sander

Makita 9403 4" x 24" Belt Sander, Teal
  • Low noise (84dB) for operator comfort
  • 4" wide belt with a speed of 1,640 ft./min. for fast material removal
  • Labyrinth construction seals and protects motor and bearings from dust and debris for longer tool life

The Makita 9403 4″ x 24″ Belt Sander is the champion in paint removal from wood. My extensive hands-on testing of nine different products left no doubt about its superiority.

With low noise operation at 84dB, it ensures operator comfort even during prolonged use. What sets it apart is its 4″ wide belt, boasting an impressive 1,640 ft./min speed, allowing lightning-fast material removal.

In terms of price, it’s more expensive than its competitors, but you get what you pay for. The sander is worth every penny, especially if you are looking for a high-quality tool that will last for years.

The labyrinth construction seals and protects the motor and bearings from dust and debris, ensuring a longer tool life. Its ergonomic design, including a well-placed front grip and innovative sanding capabilities along walls and corners, enhances precision and minimizes fatigue.

In summary, it’s the ultimate solution for paint removal from wood surfaces. If you value your time and results, this top mini belt sander is an indispensable addition to your toolkit.

What I Liked Most

  • Quiet belt sander
  • It comes with a dust collector that swivels
  • It allows flush sanding
  • It comes with an abrasive belt

What Could Be Improved

  • It is not ideal for vertical use
  • Though worth every penny, it is quite expensive

2. Best Bang for the Buck – Mouse Detail Sander, TECCPO 14,000 OPM

TECCPO Detail Sander, 14,000 OPM Compact Electric Sander...
  • 【 HIGH-EFFICIENCY 】 - TECCPO Detail Sander runs at 14,000 orbits per minute with 1.1 Amps of power; 1.5 mm diameter high eccentric orbit creates a larger sanding area, which makes sure users finish their work efficiently. The detail sander can also achieve multifunctional uses compared to a random orbit sander.
  • 【DUST COLLECTION SYSTEM】 - The reusable dust bag keeps the work area clean. Still struggling with the dust generated while working? TECCPO detail sander is the savior of this problem. The fan-driven by a built-in high-efficiency pure copper motor spins quickly to transport the wood chips to the dust bag. Compared to another sander, this sander is easier to collect dust, and the built-in fan and good sealing ensure that the dust sucked into the collection bag will not fly out again.
  • 【12PCS SANDPAPER】 - 12pcs sandpaper (60 grits * 6 & 120 grits * 6) (138mm * 97mm). The coarse, medium and fine grades of sandpaper make it possible to be widely used for grinding and polishing metal, wood, rubber, leather, plastic, stone, glass, old furniture, and other materials. The hook and loop design makes changing sandpaper easy and takes only one second.

The TECCPO Mouse Detail Sander, with its impressive features and affordable price, comes second in position. This is a hot tool for both family and professional jobs as it is cheaper than the top sander.

Running at a blazing 14,000 orbits per minute with 1.1 Amps of power, this sander means business. Its 1.5 mm diameter high eccentric orbit creates a larger sanding area, ensuring efficient and speedy work.

What sets it apart is its multifunctionality; it goes beyond just a random orbit sander. It also has an efficient dust collection system.

The reusable dust bag keeps your work area clean, solving the problem of dust generation. The built-in high-efficiency pure copper motor drives a fan that swiftly transports wood chips to the dust bag.

Included in the package are 12 pieces of sandpaper (60 grits * 6 & 120 grits * 6). The hook and loop design makes changing sandpaper a breeze, taking just a second of your time.

Compared to other sanders, this one excels in dust collection, and its excellent sealing prevents dust from escaping. It also has a lightweight design, weighing only 2.6 pounds, ensuring you won’t tire during extended use.

If you are on a tight budget and urgently need a sander, this mouse detail sander is your go-to. Unlike Makita, it is quite affordable for all.

What I Liked Most

  • It delivers 14,000 OPM
  • It can be connected to a shop vac
  • It comes with 12 sandpapers
  • It works on different surfaces

What Could Be Improved

  • It wears out quickly
  • Not suitable for big projects

3. Best Electric Sander for Paint Removal – Makita BO5041 5″ Random Orbit Sander

Makita BO5041 5' Random Orbit Sander, Variable Speed
3,084 Reviews
Makita BO5041 5" Random Orbit Sander, Variable Speed
  • Smoother and faster sanding with 3.0 AMP motor
  • Variable speed control dial (4,000-12,000 OPM) enables user to match the sanding speed to the application
  • Ergonomic rubberized palm grip and handle for improved operator comfort and control

As I look at this 5-inch random orbit sander, I can tell that Makita has thought about everything. One feature that immediately stands out to me is the rotatable front grip, added to improve comfort and control.

I know from experience that spending hours removing old paint from wood can leave me with callouses, so having three different ways to hold this sander for extra comfort is a huge plus.

I also notice the two-finger trigger type switch for short bursts, which is a convenient feature for making quick adjustments.

The lock-on button next to the trigger makes it easy for me to maneuver this electric sander with just one hand. The built-in dust-sealed switch is also a welcome addition, as it helps keep the workspace cleaner.

However, I have heard some complaints from other users about the vacuum port adaptor disconnecting every few minutes when using this electric sander to remove paint. It’s a minor inconvenience but the only downside to an otherwise flawless palm sander.

Regarding power, I’m impressed with the variable speed control that allows me to adjust between 4,000 and 12,000 orbits per minute (OPM). This gives me the flexibility to complete my projects quickly and efficiently.

The 125mm hook and loop sanding discs deliver a smooth, swirl-free finish, and the rotatable front handle allows me to get into tighter corners compared to other sanders I’ve used.

Another thing I appreciate is that the Makita BO5041 is double-insulated, making it both powerful and safe for everyday use.

I can see that Makita has put a lot of thought into the design and functionality of this random orbit sander, making it a reliable and user-friendly tool for my woodworking projects.

What I Liked Most

  • Rotatable front handle for extra control
  • Variable electronic speed control
  • Easy to operate with one hand
  • The best electric sander for wood
  • Swirl-free finish

What Could Be Improved

  • The vacuum port adaptor is not very strong
  • Best for small projects

4. Best sander for wood siding– BLACK+DECKER Mouse Detail Sander

BLACK+DECKER Detail Sander, 1.2 Amp, 16,000 OPM, Compact...
  • COMPACT DESIGN – Allows access to cramped corners and tight spaces.
  • POWERFUL MOTOR – 1.2 Amp motor supplies 16,000 orbits per minute for fast and thorough material removal.
  • DETAIL FINGER ATTACHMENT – Interchangeable attachment allows access to hard-to-reach spots.

Honestly, I was not surprised to see another impressive power tool from Black+Decker. They are known for their top-quality products, and their detail sander is no exception, as it is one of the bestsellers on Amazon.

What sets this detail sander apart is its lightweight design and features perfect for detailed work. The pointed tip makes it easy to reach corners, and the included finger attachment is a handy addition for even tighter spots.

One feature that I appreciate is the 3-position grip. As someone who values control while sanding, holding the sander in different ways allows me to maneuver it easily, resulting in a smoother sanding job.

However, I did come across some reviews that mentioned issues with the dust bag. Some users complained that it fell off, but I believe it could be due to a faulty product.

The more common complaint was that the dust canister didn’t capture a lot of dust, which made wearing personal protective equipment necessary.

Another concern raised by some users was that the detail finger attachment melted or broke easily. I’ll take note of this and be cautious while using it to avoid any mistakes, as I’ll be following the buyer’s guide section for helpful tips.

Despite a few minor issues, the Black+Decker detail sander is a reliable tool for detailed sanding work, and I’m confident it will meet my needs for precision sanding projects.

What I Liked Most

  • Lightweight and easy to control
  • It comes with a finger detail attachment
  • Delivers 14,000 OPM
  • It can reach very tight corners

What Could Be Improved

  • It can get very dusty
  • The finger detail attachment is not very strong

5. Best Sander for Paint Prep– BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander

BLACK+DECKER Orbital Sander, 5 Inch, 2.0 Amp, 12000 OPM,...
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE ORBIT SANDER - 2.0 Amp corded electric random orbit sander for a swirl-free finish
  • HIGH EFFICIENCY - Delivers 12000 OPM (orbits per minute) to quickly sand material
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND COMPACT - Fits in tight spaces for more versatile sanding

If I’m searching for a reliable belt sander that can handle tough jobs, I can’t go wrong with the Metabo HPT Belt Sander. It’s designed for heavy-duty sanding tasks like removing paint, smoothing rough surfaces, and more.

With a 9-amp motor, this belt sander can deliver impressive power, and its variable speed control enables me to adjust the speed from 820 to 1,475 feet per minute based on the surface I’m working on.

Another great feature of the Metabo HPT Belt Sander is its dust collection system. It includes a dust bag and a port that connects to a vacuum cleaner to collect the dust as I work. That way, I don’t have to worry about cleaning up the dust mess after finishing my project.

The soft elastomer grip helps me maintain a firm grip, and the machine’s ergonomics is such that it is well-balanced, reducing operator fatigue. The flush surface design allows me to sand up to vertical surfaces and get close to the edges.

It uses a 3″ x 21″ belt, which is standard and easily available. The belt is also very easy to change with the toolless design. Additionally, the machine’s nose is very low, making it easy for me to reach tight spots and angles.

The Metabo HPT Belt Sander is an excellent tool for heavy-duty sanding tasks. It is perfect for professional woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts who need a powerful and reliable belt sander.

What I Liked Most

What Could Be Improved

  • It only has one speed

6. Best Battery Powered Orbit Sander – DEWALT 20V MAX Random Orbit Sander

DEWALT 20V MAX Sander, Cordless, 5-Inch, 2.Ah, 8,000-12,000...
  • Orbital sander with brushless motor provides runtime and efficiency to get the job done
  • Variable-speed control of the hand sander from 8,000 to 12,000 OPM to match the speed to the application.
  • Low-profile height of the power sander allows user to get close to work surface for precise sanding.

I love Dewalt’s out-of-the-box thinking; this random orbit sander beautifully demonstrates it.

This battery-powered sander is light on power but heavy on output and easy to use. The rubber over-mold grip makes it easy to manoeuvre this 2kg machine when repairing your splintered wood deck.

As I hold this random orbit sander, I feel it’s slightly heavier compared to other models. However, I realize this weight works in my favour, as it means I don’t have to apply extra pressure to get a smooth sanding operation.

The Makita uses an 8-hole hook and loop system pad, making it easy to change sanding discs as needed. It also comes with a vacuum bag, which is convenient for tackling remote areas like the edges of ceilings where dust collection is important.

I’m pleased that this sander has variable speed control, allowing me to adjust it to suit the surface I’m working on. One notable feature is its low profile, which means I’m closer to the action and can achieve more precise results.

Another advantage is the brushless motor, which allows me to work for longer periods of time before the sander needs to cool down.

One downside is that this paint sander is sold without a battery, which might be a drawback for those who don’t already own other Dewalt products.

However, I appreciate the freedom of a battery-powered sander, as I don’t have to worry about a power cord being too short or becoming a hazard during work.

Some may argue that a battery-powered sander is the best option for removing paint due to its portability and convenience.

Despite the slight weight and the need to purchase a battery separately, I can see that this random orbit sander has been designed with practical features that prioritize efficiency and performance, making it a suitable tool for my paint removal tasks.

What I Liked Most

  • Ideal for hard-to-reach areas
  • Brushless motor has an extended run-time
  • The rubber grip makes it easier to hold
  • Different speed options

What Could Be Improved

  • It is a bit heavy
  • Batteries are sold separately

7. Best Sander for Exterior Paint Removal – Wagner Spraytech 0513040 PaintEater

Wagner Spraytech 0513040 PaintEater Electric Palm Grip Paint...
1,265 Reviews
Wagner Spraytech 0513040 PaintEater Electric Palm Grip Paint...
  • ROTATING PALM SANDER: The PaintEater 4-1/2" disc sander is tough on paint but gentle on surfaces, making this the ideal power rotary paint removing tool
  • FLAWLESS DESIGN: 3M spun-fiber disc operates at 2,600 RPM to provide the perfect combination of user control and abrasive performance
  • PAINT REMOVAL AT ANY ANGLE: Operating the disc on its edge removes stubborn paint chips. Operating the disc flat will smooth and feather the paint edges

As someone who often needs to remove paint and nothing else, I found the perfect solution with the Wagner PaintEater from Wagner Spraytech. This palm sander is specifically designed for efficient paint removal from wood, concrete, and metal surfaces.

The 3.2 amp motor delivers 2,600 rpm, providing optimal power without damaging the wood surface. One of my standout features is the 3M spun-fibre disc, which replaces traditional sandpaper and allows me to apply more pressure without causing damage, making the paint removal process quicker and easier.

In terms of comfort and usability, the PaintEater has some convenient features. The main body has a comfortable strap that supports my hand during use, and the retractable handle adds extra comfort, allowing me to work for longer periods without discomfort.

One thing to note is that the PaintEater doesn’t come with a dust bag, but it does have a unique dust collection system with an open-web design that prevents paint and dust from flying into the air and creating a mess. However, I did find that it still leaves some cleanup work after I’m done.

Among the many positive reviews, there were a couple of minor issues. Some users reported that the discs wore out quickly depending on their working surface.

Another concern was that the fuse couldn’t handle high temperatures, so I learned to pace myself during use to avoid overheating the tool.

Despite these minor concerns, I found the Wagner PaintEater to be a powerful and effective palm sander for paint removal, making it a solid choice for anyone who needs to remove paint and wants a reliable tool.

What I Liked Most

  • It has a retractable handle
  • Very easy to use
  • It works on various surfaces

What Could Be Improved

  • It comes with a non-resettable fuse
  • It does not have a dust collector

8. Best Duo Mode Orbital Sander – BOSCH Power Tools – GET75-6N

BOSCH Power Tools - GET75-6N - Electric Orbital Sander,...
829 Reviews
BOSCH Power Tools - GET75-6N - Electric Orbital Sander,...
  • Dual mode: Provides 2 sanding modes, random orbit mode for normal stock removal or fine finishing and "turbo" Driven eccentric orbit mode for aggressive stock removal at 5 times the rate of the normal random orbit sanding mode
  • Variable speed: The GET75 6N comes with a powerful 7. 5 amp variable speed motor (no load speed: 290 to 640 RPM, no load orbit speed: 3300 to 7300 OPM) provide power, flexibility for jobs
  • Ease of use: Get fast, smooth finishes on a variety of surfaces

When tackling a large paint removal job, my go-to tool is usually a belt sander. However, I’ve always found it frustrating that belt sanders can’t reach tight spaces like random orbital sanders can. That’s why I was thrilled to discover the Bosch hybrid orbital sander.

Technically a 6″ electric orbital sander, this tool can pack the punch of a belt sander by switching to turbo mode, which operates at 5 times the normal mode for more aggressive stock paint removal.

The random orbit mode is perfect for regular paint removal and finishing work on wood surfaces.

Bosch has included a movable auxiliary handle that can be attached to either side of the sander for added control to ensure that the extra power doesn’t damage the surface.

The counterweight balance also helps reduce hand fatigue from vibrations, allowing me to work for longer periods without discomfort.

One feature I particularly appreciate is the passive dust collection system, which can easily be attached to a vacuum using the hose adapter, helping keep the work area clean.

Additionally, the pad-dampening braking system is designed to reduce swirl marks, ensuring a smoother finish.

The only drawback I’ve encountered is that this tool’s 6″ sanding pads can be a bit harder to find in local hardware stores compared to the more common 5″ pads. However, they are readily available on Amazon, so it hasn’t been a major inconvenience.

Overall, the Bosch hybrid orbital sander has been a game-changer for me in paint removal jobs, as it combines the best of both worlds – the versatility of a random orbital sander and the power of a belt sander.

What I Liked Most

  • Very powerful duo mode
  • It works easily with a vacuum
  • The auxiliary handle is movable
  • It minimizes swirl marks

What Could Be Improved

  • The disc is not as easy to find

9. Best Sander for Doors and Trim – PORTER-CABLE Random Orbit Sander

PORTER-CABLE Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch (382)
1,043 Reviews
PORTER-CABLE Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch (382)
  • Dual plane counter
  • Provides longer switch life
  • 100% ball bearing construction

I often feel like I’ve seen them all when I come across an orbital sander. That’s why it takes something truly unique to catch my attention. In this case, the after-sales service sets this product apart.

Porter-Cable is so confident in its orbital sander that it offers a 90-day money-back guarantee and a three-year limited warranty, the longest among its competitors. It’s reassuring to know they stand behind their product, although I hope I won’t need to use it.

This 5-inch orbital sander is designed for quick and simple tasks, making it suitable for both amateurs and professionals. It features a straightforward ergonomic design with a power switch and 100% ball-bearing construction for improved balance.

Porter-Cable has also incorporated smart features like the Controlled Finishing System and speed lock, which allow for better control over the pad speed to minimize gouging. With a top speed of 12,000 OPM, these features come in handy for achieving the desired finish.

In terms of convenience, the orbital sander comes with a decent-sized dust collection bag for on-site jobs, and it can also be plugged directly into a vacuum when used in-store.

While most feedback for this orbital sander is positive, there have been a couple of complaints about poor build quality and the dust collector falling off. It’s worth noting that the dust collector needs to be snapped on tightly to prevent leaks.

As for the build quality, it’s important to remember that this is an affordable product, so it may not compete with higher-end specs.

However, if I’m not satisfied with its performance, I know I can always contact customer service thanks to their generous after-sales service.

What I Liked Most

  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Ergonomic design
  • Minimizes gouging and swirl marks

What Could Be Improved

  • The sanding pad is not very strong

Read Also: Best Bench Sander for Woodworking

Education: What You Need to Know

Types of Sanders for Removing Paint From Wood 

With so many different types of sanders, narrowing down the best one for removing paint from wood can be tough. After all, they all look and work differently.

When you have been in the field for a while, you habitually acquire different types. But if you’re new and don’t have money to burn, you only need one.

But before we declare the best sanders for paint removal, we must understand the different options and how they work.

Belt sander

The belt sander is among the oldest and most reliable sanding power tools. It is strong, powerful, and one of the best cordless sanders for quickly removing paint from wood.

Due to their size and weight, belt sanders are only suitable for flat surfaces. So, if you need paint removal paint, or varnish from floors, cabinets, tables, and other vertical surfaces.

When operating this tool, you must be mindful of the power; too much force can cause gouging. However, this is an easy fix for a machine with variable speed control.

The more severe problem with a belt sander is when working on exterior surfaces or walls. So, while this is powerful, it is not the most conducive for removing paint from wood.

Random orbital sander

If you are looking for a sander for removing paint, you can’t go wrong with a random orbital sander. Also known as the palm sander, a random orbital sander is easy to hold and can be operated with one hand.

They are also light enough to use on horizontal surfaces or even upside down. Like a belt sander, these may come with variable speed control and lock. It also has an efficient dust collection system or vacuum adapter to connect to a shop vac easily.

You may have noticed that some of the products on our list are named orbit sanders or orbital sanders, but this design is nearly obsolete. Nearly every orbital sander is now randomized, as this reduces swirl marks and gives a smoother finish.

From a cost perspective, these are also much cheaper than belt sanders. They may not be as powerful as their larger competitors, but they do a good enough job.

Some people argue that palm sanders are the best sanders for removing paint and stains from wood. Therefore, if you can only afford one sander for paint removal, get a random orbital sander. For a detailed comparison, check out our article on belt vs orbital sander to make an informed choice.

Detail sander

A detail sander or a mouse detail sander was mainly designed for one specific purpose – hard-to-reach areas. Therefore, even though some detail sanders can be as powerful as a random orbital sander, they should only be used as intended.

As you can see from our list, mouse detail sanders are much smaller and lighter than orbit sanders. They are also not as strong. Therefore, when you use a detail sander for an extended period, it can start to melt, and the parts may break.

If you work on mainly small-scale projects, a detail sander should be the second item on your list.

The best detail sander comes with nifty features like a dust bag and detail finger attachment, but not much else. Yet, this is a convenient tool especially given the good price point.

Unconventional sanders

This isn’t a type of sander, more like different sanders that could be used to remove paint from wood but are not designed for that.

They include:

  • Shaft sander
  • Arbitrary circle sander
  • Disc sander
  • Strip sander
  • Power drywall sander

These tools are too big, bolted-down, or aggressive to remove old paint without damaging the wood. It can’t be done if you can’t remove paint with a combination of any of the first three sanders.

You can also consider any other best way of removing paint from wood without sanding.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Paint Removing Sander

Factors to Consider When Buying a Paint Removing Sander

Now that you have decided on the type of sander to remove paint, it is time to narrow down your options. These factors will help you find the right paint sanding machine for your current and future projects.

Speed and Power

When looking for the best sander, the first thing to consider is its ability, typically measured by speed and power. All of the sanders tell you how many OPM or RPM the device delivers to give you an idea of how quickly it can remove paint.

After all, that is why you want a sander in the first place, so this should be a priority.

Besides the speed, you also need to evaluate the power – volts, amps, or watts. More watts mean more power.

For example, while the Teccpo mouse detail has the highest OPM at 14,000, it delivers less power than the non-battery-powered orbital sanders, making it less reliable for more arduous paint removal.

Speed control

If you are new to sanding, this is an essential feature. When you start sanding right at the highest speed, chances are you will gouge out some of that wood while trying to remove paint.

This happens both when you are applying the sander and taking it off. Electronic speed control prevents mishaps by allowing you to start gradually and then build up to the required variable speed.

If this feature is absent, a smart system like that used in the Porter-Cable orbital sander will be the next best thing.


Sanding takes a very long time, making your hand numb, tired, or feel raw. Therefore, comfort is critical when choosing a sander.

There is no point in owning a sander you can barely hold on to after a few minutes because your hand is sore. You should aim for a palm sander with a rubberized head (which is more comfortable to hold and reduces vibrations) and has different holding options.

Options like the Makita orbital sander and the Wagner Spraytech palm grip have an extra handle to give you extra comfort and control. The other sanders have ergonomic designs that allow you to hold onto the neck.

Of course, for belt sanders, having an extra handle is necessary, while it isn’t so for detail sanders.

Ease of use

When you have a long day ahead of you, you need a tool to make your job easier. Palm sanders, in particular, are designed for simple plug-and-play.

They should be easy to switch on and lock in, so you don’t have to leave your finger on the switch. Another important feature is that replacing the sandpaper should also be easy.

You may have noticed that the palm and detail sanders mostly use hook and loop sanding discs, which only takes a second to swap sandpapers. You may also consider the weight and the tools required to use it.

For example, the DeWalt is the heaviest orbit sander on our list and requires a battery. But then, that also makes it easier to use when you don’t have an extension cord.

Dust collection

Sanding throws a lot of fine dust particles into the air, which can be harmful when swallowed. So you need a sander with a dust collection port for working remotely and a vacuum adapter to connect it to different types of shop vacs.

Admittedly, most dust bags are quite porous, so you will still need to use PPE when sanding. However, having the option and not needing it is still better than not having it.


This sets sanders apart and makes a random orbital sander a preferred tool over a belt sander. Due to their lightweight yet powerful performance, random orbit sanders can be used anywhere.

Factors that improve versatility include adjusting variable speed, which allows you to work on different types of wood without fear of sanding too deeply.

If you’re looking for a detail sander, the finger detail attachment improves your ability to sand very tight spaces.

Other Post: Best Oscillating Sander

How To Use an Orbital Sander to Remove Paint from Wood

How To Use an Orbital Sander to Remove Paint from Wood

A random orbital sander is one of the easiest tools you can use. You don’t need a long instructional video or a course.

There are just three basic rules you need to follow:

Keep the sander flat

Always keep the entire body of the palm sander in contact with the surface. Tilting it will cause you to sand some areas deeper than others.

That is fine for shaping wood but not for removing paint.

Don’t add pressure

Some negative reviews for products on our list result from not using a sander properly. You don’t need to apply pressure when using a palm sander as it will cause the pad not to spin properly, overheat or break.

Let the sander do all the work.

Always start with a higher grit

Removing old paint is not difficult, but doing so without removing wood can be tricky.

Your first few times using a power sander might lead to some problems with gouging. To reduce that risk, use higher grit sandpaper than necessary or start at a lower speed.

Take your time

I know sanding is boring, but rushing it will ruin your work. Take your time to ensure you don’t leave any swirl marks.

They may not be obvious while you work, but they will be after you apply a stain or a finish.

Get rid of dust immediately

Sanding over dust can cause the sandpaper to get gummed up, which can cause scratches on the wood or worse. As good as dust collectors are, connecting your sander to a shop vac is always better, as this eliminates all the dust immediately.

Related Post: How to remove poly from wood without sanding.

Best Sandpaper for Removing Paint from Wood

When it comes to removing paint from wood, choosing the best sandpaper is a critical decision. Opt for coarse-grit sandpaper, in the range of 40 to 80 grit, to efficiently strip away layers of paint and smooth out the surface. 

This rougher grit provides the necessary abrasion to tackle stubborn paint. As you progress in your project and the paint is nearly removed, transition to finer grits like 120 to 220 to achieve a polished, paint-free finish. 

Starting with coarse grit and transitioning to finer grits as you progress is the key to removing paint from wood surfaces while preserving the wood’s integrity.

How to Remove Paint From Wood Without Sanding

You can remove paint from wood without sanding by using various methods. This will however depend on the type of paint and the condition of the wood. 

Here are methods to help you achieve a paint-free surface without sanding.

Method 1: Heat gun method (For latex or water-based paint)

  • Wear safety goggles and gloves to protect yourself.
  • Use a heat gun to apply gentle heat to the painted area, holding it a few inches away from the surface.
  • As the paint softens and bubbles, scrape it off with a putty knife or a paint scraper.
  • Do not overheat the wood or hold the heat gun too close, as it can scorch or damage the surface.

Method 2: Chemical paint strippers (For oil-based paint)

  • Ventilate the area and wear protective gear, including gloves and a mask.
  • Apply a chemical paint stripper according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Brush it on the painted surface and let it sit for the recommended time.
  • Use a paint scraper or putty knife to gently scrape away the softened paint.
  • Repeat the process if necessary until you remove all paint. 

Method 3: Citrus-based paint removers 

  • Citrus-based paint removers are less toxic and environmentally friendly.
  • Apply the remover, wait for it to soften the paint, and then scrape off the paint using a putty knife.

Method 4: Pressure washer (For outdoor wood surfaces)

  • If you’re working on a large outdoor wood surface, a pressure washer can be effective in stripping paint.
  • Use a wide-angle tip on the pressure washer to avoid damaging the wood. Start at a safe distance and gradually move closer until the paint begins to peel away.

Method 5: Steel wool or paint scraper (For small touch-ups)

  • For minor paint removal or touch-ups, you can use steel wool or a paint scraper to remove paint without damaging the wood.

FAQs on the Best sander for Removing Paint

How much should you sand?

You should always sand until you get a smooth surface. You should also sand the entire surface, not just the areas that look rough to the naked eye. Otherwise, the project will look shoddy when you apply a finish, revealing rough patches.

Why are orbital sanders better than others?

Random orbital sanders move in different directions, leaving fewer swirl marks than other electric sanders. They are also one of the easiest and most versatile, as you can sand flush to the wall and other hard-to-reach areas.

Can I use the paint sander with paint stripping gel?

While you can do this in theory, painting sanders this way is not advisable. When you use paint stripping gel, you are to scrape it off. You would have to wait for it to dry before using a sander.

See: The best drywall sander


Removing old paint can be a laborious and time-consuming process, but the right sander can transform it into a breeze. When it comes to the top choice, the Makita 9403 4″ X 24″ Belt Sander stands out as the overall best.

This powerhouse of a sander offers low-noise operation for operator comfort. It’s an investment that pays off with each use, making your paint removal tasks smoother and more effective.

Ultimately, the choice comes down to your specific needs and the scale of your project. The best sander is the one that suits your requirements.

So, consider your needs, and select the perfect sander to make your paint removal tasks a breeze.

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