Scrapping and Sanding
Use a putty knife and wire brush to remove damaged paint. A sharp pull scraper can be used for larger areas. This can remove any old paint down to the surface underneath. When dragging perpendicularly across, be extra careful not to gouge the wood.
Once you’ve removed the unnecessary old layer of paint here and there, smooth out the surface with sandpaper. To avoid exhausting yourself, use an electrical orbital sander for more thorough results. Avoid using an electrical disc sander or sander belt which can cause unevenness on the wood.
Melting and Liquid Paint Remover
If the layer of paint is too thick for manual scraping, melting it can be more effective. With the use of an electric paint remover, heat the paint and remove it as you go with its built-in scraper. Wear thick gloves to protect you from burns.
As a last resort, use a liquid paint remover to strip away paint. Although effective, it can be costly, especially if you are working on a rather large area. It can also easily spill over perfectly good paint, damaging it and leaving you with more areas to retouch.
Once your surface has been striped, you may now apply primer. This coating provides wood with extra protection and foundation. Before slathering a layer of primer, consider first the paint to be used as there are specific primers for each type of paint.
Giving the area a good bath will provide you with a dirt-free canvas for a fresh layer of paint. Consider the size of the area to be painted and the amount of dirt that needs to be rinsed off. You may typically be able to use a garden hose to wash off any dirt. If the area is heavily soiled or caked, you may need the help of a sponge, some detergent and a few pails of warm water.