First of all never use harsh chemicals to dissolve the paint. This could greatly damage the finish to the wood. If youíve used a water-thinned paint and it is still wet you can take a wet cloth and wipe away the paint. But be sure and wipe the surface immediately with a dry cloth so that you donít damage the wood. You need to be careful though because water can make shellac finish sticky.
Now if the water thinned or latex paint has dried, you can get from your local hardware store or home center some dried latex paint remove. Put some on a dry cloth and then wipe the paint away. If the paint stains remain however, try a plastic paint scraper and gently scrape away the paint, you can even use your fingernail if thatís practical. Just use caution however, anytime you are trying to remove paint from your wood furniture.
Here are some more tips we found for you when it comes to caring for your wood furniture.
If you have outdoor, wood furniture, at some point you may find it stained with mildew. Molds feed on the oil and minerals in the paint and cause a dirty-looking discoloration. Mildew can even penetrate the paint film deeply, and go into the underlying wood.
Thatís why it is important to use mildew-resistant paints for outdoor wood surfaces. A variety of colors are available at paint and hardware stores.
Paint manufacturers have formulated their products with fungicides to help combat mildew attack.
PRECAUTION: Mildew-resistant paints should not be used on windowsills, playpens, beds, or toys because these paints can be injurious if they reach the mouths of small children.
If you find mildew growing on wood, use heat and increase the air circulation to get wood as dry as possible. Unfortunately badly infected wood may need to be replaced, preferably with wood that has been treated or that is naturally decay resistant.
To treat your mildew stained furniture, be sure to thoroughly clean mildewed surfaces, woodwork, and other wooden parts by scrubbing them with mild alkali, such as washing soda or trisodium phosphate (8 to 10 tablespoons to a gallon of water), or with disinfectants.
Paint and grocery stores as well as janitorial supply houses sell these products under various trade names. Be sure to rinse the wood well with clear water, and allow the wood to dry thoroughly. Then apply a mildew-resistant paint.
If the mold has grown under the paint or varnish, remove all the paint or varnish from the stained areas. Then scrub with a solution containing 8 to 10 tablespoons of trisodium phosphate and 1 cup of household chlorine bleach to a gallon of water. Stronger solutions can be used if necessary. Be sure to wear rubber gloves.
If stain remains, apply oxalic acid (3 tablespoons to 1 pint of water). The acid is poisonous; handle carefully.
Finally, rinse the surface thoroughly with clear water.
Dry well before refinishing.
For Varnished Wood Care
You will want to protect finish overall with a furniture wax. Also protect surfaces from water, alcohol, other liquids, foods and cosmetics.
Vacuum and/or dust with a soft dry cloth. If finish is waxed, do not use oiled or treated cloths, as they may make it sticky. Occasional rubbing the surface with a clean, dry, soft cloth removes smudges and dust and leaves a sheen. Some varnish finishes may be wiped with a damp (not wet) cloth to remove fingerprints and light soil, followed at once by rubbing with a clean dry cloth. Always remember to test a small area first on an inconspicuous spot to be sure this does not damage varnish. Do not get varnish wet, or allow damp cloth to stand on it.
For antiques with the original finish.
Try to stay away from extreme humidity and temperatures, which speeds up cracking of the finish, and loosen the joints and veneer. Never set beverage glasses, vases of flowers, etc. on surfaces without a coaster or a mat for protection. Water rings from these objects can greatly damage the finish.
To clean your priceless antique furniture, vacuum or dust with a soft cloth. Occasionally use a cloth just barely dampened with solvent-based cleaning wax to wipe the surface. Then immediately wipe the surface again with a dry cloth or soft paper towel. Do not use spray waxes and polishes on surfaces, as they will leave a higher gloss and some silicone which may make future refinishing more difficult.
You may want to occasionally wax with paste (carnauba) wax. Rub on a very light coat with a soft cloth with the grain of the wood (or try putting a lump of wax inside a few layers of folded cheesecloth and rub onto wood which can prevent heavy smears); then buff at once with soft cloth. Be sure to turn the cloth often until the wax coating is hard. (Old cotton tee-shirts work well as do worn out socks.) You may want to a use small electric polisher, which can be a great "arm-saver." On all smooth surfaces; wipe the surface gently with a clean soft cloth after applying wax to remove any loosened soil and then let it set for several minutes (following wax label directions) before power buffing. An occasional re-buffing will renew the soft gloss. Paste wax can help cover small cracks and checks in old finishes, and can easily be removed with solvent.
Since old finishes may be affected by cleaning treatments, always test the first time on any inconspicuous place on the furniture to be sure it is compatible with finish.