5 Best Sander for Removing Paint From Walls & Wood

Removing paint from walls or wood surfaces can be tricky, but with the right equipment, the job can be done quickly and efficiently.

Most importantly, when dealing with old painted walls, you’ll want to choose the right sander for the job so that you can get the clean, polished look you’re going for before getting them refinished.

But what should you know about choosing the best sander for removing the old paint coat from the walls?

Below, I’ll walk you through some of the most important considerations you should make when choosing the right sander for your job.

As we’ll see, the type of sander—as well as various other factors—can influence the decision you should make.


*Last update on 2024-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5 Best Sanders for Removing Wall Paint

You are in the middle of sanding your walls, and you realize that there are many more pieces of old wood furniture that need to be sanded.

Well, the process is, although hassle-full and time-consuming, it can be made easier if you use a sander device for your project.

Picking the right set of power sander tools can, however, be challenging, especially for a nerd.

So, let’s take a look at what are the best options available, and then we will discuss the things you should know before buying a sander for removing wall paint.

1- Makita Belt Sander 9903

Makita 9903 3" x 21" Belt Sander
  • Powerful 8.8 AMP motor; only 85dB
  • Variable speed control dial (690 -1,440 ft./min.) to match the speed...
  • Auto-tracking belt system tracks belt without adjustment

*Last update on 2024-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Makita 9903 variable speed belt sander is one of the most efficient sanders on the market for stock removal that you can trust.

Not only it’s an ideal tool for painters but also for carpenters, woodworkers, deck builders, floor installers, and other general contractors who are in need of a premium belt sander machine.

The powerful enough Makita 9903 belt sander is easy to use, fast, and less noisy when you want to remove old paint from already painted walls, concrete floors, wood furniture, or even metal.

Few other features that I like in this sanding/paint removal machine are:

  • Robust 8.8 AMP motor with electronic speed control
  • Highly efficient dust collector bag to reduce dust in the work area
  • Variable speed control dial helps in matching the speed to the application
  • Auto-tracking belt system that helps in tracking the belt without adjustment
  • Low-profile design with front grip, long 16.4-foot power cord, and the extended base for convenient operation

Above all, Makita 9903 Sander is one of the quietest sanders (at only 84dB) in its class that can help you complete all the paint/rust removal with no noise at all (or very less-noise).

Since it comes from a most reliable brand, it’s 30 days replacement or refund (if not satisfied) along with a 1-year warranty that makes your purchase completely risk-free.

In case you want to know more about using a belt sander for paint removal, you can check the below video.

2- Wagner SprayTech PaintEater

Wagner Spraytech 0513040 PaintEater Electric Palm Grip...
  • ROTATING PALM SANDER: The PaintEater 4-1/2" disc sander is tough on...
  • FLAWLESS DESIGN: 3M spun-fiber disc operates at 2,600 RPM to provide...
  • PAINT REMOVAL AT ANY ANGLE: Operating the disc on its edge removes...

*Last update on 2024-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Wagner SprayTech PaintEater is my favorite when it comes to removing paint from walls or wood.

With just one step task, not only you can use the PaintEater for removing loose/flaking paint but also for smoothing up the surfaces of masonite, concrete, and even metal – thanks to its 3M spun-fiber disc.

Being aggressive on paint but gentle on the surface helps in precisely removing the paint and rust (from metal) without wasting much time and energy.

Some of the best features that I like in this Wagner PaintEater sanding device are:

  • A 3.2-amp motor that delivers 2,600 RPM
  • Safe to use and can be used with either the right hand or left hand
  • Lightweight open-web design that minimizes build-up of paint and dust
  • Innovative Flex-Disc System enables the disc to conform to surfaces like flat trim and siding
  • Ergonomic design, retractable handle, soft-grip cover, and a Velcro strap to lower down hand fatigue

As a homeowner who loves DIY projects, if you are in search of a good prep tool that can help you prepare a smooth surface for a fresh coat – Wagner PaintEater is an award-winning machine you can rely on.

Believe me, without making your task tedious or boring it can quickly work for you to clean up the old stubborn paint, paint oxides, and mildew.

There’s just one drawback, though – this is not the kind of sander you can use professionally for larger areas.

If you are in need of a robust machine that comes with some extra features for more advanced users, our next model (Bosch) comes for you.

To know how well this Wagner SprayTech PaintEater works, you may refer to the video below.

3- Bosch GET75-6N Electric Orbital Sander

BOSCH Power Tools - GET75-6N - Electric Orbital Sander,...
  • Dual mode: Provides 2 sanding modes, random orbit mode for normal...
  • Variable speed: The GET75 6N comes with a powerful 7. 5 amp variable...
  • Ease of use: Get fast, smooth finishes on a variety of surfaces

*Last update on 2024-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bosch is one of the better brands out there known for making some high-quality products – when it’s about power tools loaded with powerful features.

Bosch GET75 6N is a top-notch electric orbital sander that comes with a powerful 7.5 Amp motor featuring dual sanding modes:

  • Random orbit mode
  • Aggressive turbo mode

While a random orbit mode can be used for normal stock removal (or for fine finishing), you can use an extremely aggressive turbo-driven, eccentric orbit sanding mode for aggressively removing the stock material at five times the speed.

And worry not, changing between the two modes is super easy with the flip of a lever, so you can easily change the modes as and when required according to the nature of the task.

Some of the key features that house in this sander machine are:

  • Lightweight, easy and fast to use with 8 ft. of cord length
  • Passive dust collection system that maximizes the efficiency when used with a vacuum-based dust collection system
  • Bosch microcellular hook-&-loop sanding pad that conforms to the surface to deliver finer, smoother, flatter surface finishes
  • PowerGrip, contoured head, compact 7.7 In.-diameter circumference barrel, and standard-equipment auxiliary handle for the comfort of the user

With all these exceptional features, it is no wonder that the Bosch GET75 6N Electric Orbital Sander is on the higher end of the spectrum in terms of price.

On the plus side, this is the kind of versatile paint-removing sander and polisher that professionals can use for a variety of DIY tasks that includes polishing, carpentry, fine woodworking, fine finishing, and Inlay work, wood floors, furniture building, and woodworking crafts.

Just in case you are curious about how to use an orbital sander to remove paint, the below video can help you out.

4- ENERTWIST Random Orbit Sander

ENERTWIST Orbital Sander, 5 Inch Variable Speed 2.4A...
  • [VARIABLE SPEED] 6-Speed adjustable from 5000 to 12000 OPM for the...
  • [EASY TO HANDLE] Compact and lightweight with ergonomic rubberized...
  • [QUICK-CHANGE] Hook and loop system for fast and easy paper changes

*Last update on 2024-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Loaded with many great features, this versatile all-purpose sander, and polisher from ENERTWIST can be used for a wide selection of woodworking tasks, including carpentry, polishing, fine finishing, polishing glass, and others.

With its 2.4 Amps motor, this portable electric sander can deliver the power you will need for ultra-smooth sanding or stock removal (like a stain from walls/wood or rust from metal surfaces).

Few other key features that come packed with this TACKLIFE sanding machine are:

  • Offers 12,000 orbits per minute with minimum noise and vibration
  • Comes with hook and loop (Velcro) sanding pads that are very quick and easy to install
  • A re-usable dust collector that keeps the work area cleaner and the air free from dust particles
  • Moves in random orbits to eliminate the swirl that ordinary orbital sanders sometimes leave behind
  • An ergonomic rubberized contoured handle for maintaining maximum control at work without experiencing hand fatigue

Above all, the circular base shape is provided in this sanding tool that helps in distributing the pressure evenly over the surfaces.

If you want, you can also apply more pressure to certain areas, like working on curved surfaces and round edges.

No matter whether you work as a seasoned expert or an amateur DIY enthusiast, you will love working with this powerful tool more often when you start getting the finish you desire.

5- PORTER-CABLE Random Orbit Sander

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

*Last update on 2024-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The PORTER-CABLE Random Orbit Sander is a machine that comes with a controlled finishing system to control and maintain the pad speeds while minimizing the gouging during the startup.

This 382 5-inch random orbit sander offers you the maximum sanding speeds that you require for getting those smooth finishes when sanding the surfaces.

And for this reason, it is ideally suited for surface prep before painting or staining.

Few good features that we like in this sanding system are:

  • A 1.9-amp motor to deliver 12,000 OPM
  • Dual-plane counter-balanced fan reduces user fatigue
  • Sealed 100% ball-bearing construction for sturdiness and durability
  • Dust-sealed switch protects against dust ingestion for longer switch life

Being highly versatile, you can use the sander for removing the old coats of varnish from wood surfaces, smoothing seams where materials meet, or for other DIY and professional sanding applications.

Thanks to its random pattern sanding, you do not need to worry about getting swirls or gouges in the material.

All it delivers is a high-speed smooth finish, be it wood, metal, or composite.

Types of Sanders Available for Paint Removal

Perhaps the most important consideration you should make when purchasing – is the type of sander you buy.

Because different sanders are best suited for different jobs and purposes, it’s incredibly important that you take the time to research the one that’s right for your wall paint removal job.

To do this, you’ll need a thorough understanding of your job’s requirements before you make your purchase.

This will help ensure that you’re getting the tool needed that your job demands.

That being said, below are the most popular types of sanders and how they can be used to help you.

1- Belt Sander

If you’ve ever used a sander before, it was likely a belt sander.

That’s because belt sanders are among the most common in use due to their high-efficiency levels across a variety of different jobs.

Belt sanders may be the sander of choice for your paint removal job but you’ll want to be on the lookout for certain features so as to maximize your efficiency.

These include the engine yield dB, the inclusion of a platen, and the ability to adjust the machine as needed—whether for comfort, speed, or tidy/storage space.

2- Orbital Sander

Another extremely common type of sander, orbital sanders, includes a number of features that make them especially handy to use.

For starters, because they include high OPMs, they can get the job done quickly, making them great for those trying to finish their job on a timeline.

But that’s just one of the perks of using an orbital sander.

They also have comfortable ergonomic handles that allow great precision when working—even on trickier surfaces.

3- Shaft Sander

Shaft sanders are an especially efficient type of sander that can remove large amounts of paint.

What’s more, they work very well when sanding bends or sharp edges, making them distinct from other sanders.

When buying a shaft sander, be sure that its specifications are suited to your job—including its belt control positioning, strain modification, and adjustment capabilities.

Keep in mind, however, that you may use more than one type of sander in conjunction to get your job done.

4- Arbitrary Circle Sander

Not every paint job is the same, and some are trickier to remove than others.

If you’ve ever attempted to remove paint from your cabinets and furniture, you know this to be particularly true.

Because varnish has a habit of settling in between the different wood fibers in your furniture, it can be incredibly difficult to strip paint while maintaining a great look.

Fortunately, the arbitrary circle sander was built to handle this job.

With the arbitrary circle sander, you’ll have a better time completing this difficult task.

You’ll also be better able to smooth out different paint coatings for a nice, even finish and look.

Keep in mind, however, that while an arbitrary circle sander works faster than a vibrating one, it doesn’t remove quite as much paint.

When purchasing an arbitrary circle sander, be sure that you choose one with the ability to change speeds while also considering the device’s cushion measure, body setup, and engine estimates.

5- Power Drywall Sander

Invented first in 1988 by Mr. Matechuk, these are great for sanding and smoothing drywall surfaces.

You can use it for sanding plastered walls, removing paper residues and adhesive residues on high ceilings, loose plaster on popcorn ceilings, sanding floors, and much more.

Typically, with a disc sander attached to a long pole, this drywall power sander looks much like a metal detector.

But due to its longer ergonomic extension handle, it allows you to make longer movements with less stretching as you sand.

This means the places where you would otherwise need a ladder can be easily reached with these powerful drywall sanders.

Like many others, this drywall pole sander also features an automatic vacuum system to collect the dust particles when sanding making it easier for long usage.

Some of the best power sanders for drywall sanding include the names Festool Planex and PORTER-CABLE.

But remember, drywall sanding power tools like these can be tricky to use for beginners.

So, ensure you get some practice and check how to use a power drywall sander properly before actually trying them on your walls.

PORTER-CABLE 7800 4.7 Amp Drywall Sander with 13-Foot...
Lightweight drywall sander with variable speeds ranging from 1400 to 2000 RPM; 13-foot vacuum hose that dissipates static

*Last update on 2024-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Factors to Consider Before Buying Paint Stripping Sander

The type of sander isn’t the only consideration you should make when buying a sander to remove paint.

Take a look at the following other considerations that should be made.

a) Power

Different sanders have different power levels—even when compared to others of the same type.

For this reason, you’ll need to know how much power is needed for your job—and choose the right sander accordingly.

Power is particularly important in terms of speed because, generally speaking, the more power it has, the faster it can go.

For this reason, buying a sander with maximum power can benefit any job because, as we’ll see, this gives way to one of the most important considerations you can make: speed.

b) Variable Speed

The speed of your sander is directly related to the efficiency of your work.

And if you’ve ever sanded before, you know how important it is that your sander comes equipped with variable speed.

By being able to change the speed of your sander, you’ll be better able to control the work you’re doing.

This allows for better, more even finishes and a more polished overall look.

These variable speeds also allow you to work on a variety of different materials, giving you the flexibility needed to get the job done.

For this reason, buying a max-power sander that can propel you to the necessary speeds should be at the top of your list when choosing the best type of sander to remove paint.

c) Handy Grip

The right grip is about more than just comfort—it’s about efficiency, too.

Comfortable, ergonomic grips enable you to skillfully wield your sander to get the great look that you want.

Without the right grip. You can put both yourself—and your project—in danger.

Remember, the better the grip, the less likely that you will have an accident.

Whether that be dropping a sander—or just botching your job—neither outcome is pleasant.

Because of this, be sure to grab a sander with a comfortable grip that won’t cause fatigue and one that allows your hand to stay steady—no matter the project.

d) Ease of Use

Nothing can put a damper on your sanding job than having to stop to change the sanding pads.

And unfortunately, with some sanders, this can prove to be quite a tedious process.

For this reason, get a sander that allows quick and easy changing so that you don’t have to interrupt your workflow.

What’s more, it’s the simple process of securing a new piece of sandpaper that can have added safety during the job.

e) Cleanliness

Sanding is a notoriously messy job, but thanks to modern technology, you no longer have to coat your working area with dust.

Newer model sanders now come equipped with a dust storage unit that will help collect dust from the air as you work.

This makes your job—and cleanup—a breeze.

While it’s virtually impossible to catch all of the dust, you’ll find that some models do catch the vast majority.

This keeps your workspace from looking like a dusty wonderland and gives you more space to concentrate on your work at hand without having to worry about cleanup later.

Tips for Using A Sander When Removing Old Paint Off

The only setback of using a sander for removing old paint is the increased chance of messing up the wood with the sander.

Since the machine is so powerful, it is easy to use too much power when sanding the surface and trying to remove old paint from it.

You must, therefore, learn how to use the sander properly to avoid any mistakes.

Below are seven tips for using a sander when removing old paint.

1) Sand Slowly

You don’t have to go fast when you’re sanding with a random orbit sander.

In fact, the sander is made for slow movements, which means you’re not supposed to go fast like you would with a hand sander or belt sander.

Experts recommend you use the orbit sander at a rate of 10 to 12 seconds for every linear foot. That’s the equivalent of one inch per second.

This might seem slow, but it’ll help prevent swirl marks from appearing on the surface.

So, if you care about the surface looking smooth, then have patience and go slow.

2) Reduce Pressure

There is no need to press down hard on the orbital sander as you use it on the surface.

You don’t even need to apply any pressure at all.

Between the weight of your hand and the tool itself, there is already enough pressure applied to the surface.

If you apply any more pressure, it could cause problems for the motor. What’s worse is that it could mess up the surface and make it look worse.

3) Vacuum the Dust Remnants

The random orbital sander can connect to a shop vacuum.

The purpose of the vacuum is to reduce the amount of dust that flies into the air as you’re working.

It can also increase the efficiency of the sander as well. Just continue the suction to eliminate the dust from the paper and wood areas.

4) No Tilting

Do not tilt your sander.

It is easy to get the temptation to tilt the sander whenever you see a burn mark, but you must stop yourself from doing it.

The sole purpose of a random orbit sander is to smooth out the flat plane of the wood.

Do not use the sander for any other purpose, or it could cause problems with your project.

5) Utilize Different Sandpaper Grits

During the project, you must use several sandpaper grits together, because each grit eliminates a scratch pattern left from the previous grit.

In other words, you cannot use a fine-grit disc to achieve the surface you want if you don’t work your way upward. 

Diversify your sandpaper grits by using random sanding disks like 100-150-220.

It is easier than going from 80 and going through all of them to 320.

6) Finish Sanding Manually

If you want a finish-quality surface on your hardwood, then don’t stop with your random orbit sander because you’ll have swirl marks left underneath the finish.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve followed the previous suggestions so far. The swirl marks will still be there.

After the sander has gone to 220, use your hand to control the same grit and use it to finish off the surface. Use the grain to do the sanding.

7) Lower your Expectations

Don’t expect the world from your sanding discs. They are cheap components that can only do so much to your wood.

If the discs are no longer able to cut because they’re full of dust, remove them from the sander and install new ones in their place.

Don’t waste your time cutting with discs that are too worn out. Your time is too valuable for that.

What Are the Other Ways to Strip Old Paint?

Although sanders come with great power to grind away the paint, the downside to using them indoors is you may need to hook them up in a vacuum so that they can capture the dust.

Also, using these expensive devices may not be the best option for stripping the paint once in a while or removing lead-based paint (which pros should handle).

With that in mind, we already have some other ways by which you can easily accomplish your task.

1- Manual Scrappers:

This is the easiest way to remove loosened, peeling, or chipped paint from the surface.

With a simple putty knife or a plastic scraper, you can work across the surface to strip the paint away within a few seconds.

Since buying a large power scrapper or a sander can be expensive for very small tasks (like scraping away soap scum, old caulk, burned-on cook-top spills, glue, and paint), you can consider getting this lightweight tool for quick refinishing.

The downside to using this method is it does not work with stubborn paint that is hard to remove, and also, it does not offer you a feel of finished touch.

2- Chemical Strippers:

These are generally the liquids, gels, or pastes that help dissolve the paint when applied over the surface (with old, new, or peeling paint you need to remove).

Since the method does not involve any dust or paint chip build-up, this is great to try for indoor work.

Especially when you want to deal with fine details, awkward shapes, or hitting spots you may have missed with a sander; this can be an ideal option.

The only downside of using the chemical method for paint removal is it can be hazardous, slow as well as messy, and smelly.

And for this reason, you must stay protected while working with them.

3- Heat Gun and Heaters:

These are the tools that make use of high temperatures to soften the varnish or multiple layers of paint on the surface.

You may then remove the softened paint with the help of a scraper.

The good thing about using these tools (like heat guns, infrared devices, and steam strippers) is it melts away the paint even if it’s years old.

Also, the method does not involve any dust or mess around.

The only risk of using this method is the risk of getting your wood surfaces charred or the fumes it may create during the process.

In addition to the above, a homemade paint stripper can also be one of the best ways you can try out for removing the paint in the most affordable way.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Q. How Much Should You Sand?

A. While sanding, your goal is to get a smooth, even surface for painting.

So, use fine sandpaper in the sander machine and apply light pressure to sand the surface until you get a smooth surface.

Also, consider sanding the surface lightly after you have applied the primer.

This will avoid the marks due to the primer’s uneven texture when painting.

Q. Why Are Orbital Sander Better Than Others?

A. Orbital Sander is one of the best choices for feathering the peeled paint prior to priming and prepping the surface for house repainting.

Orbital sanders make use of a square pad that is moved in a consistent orbital motion to sand the surface slowly and less aggressively.

One of the best benefits of using an orbital sander over other sander types is its ability to sand into corners.

It, however, requires some practice to use for beginners.

Unlike a disc sander, an orbital sander can provide a much smoother finish, and it’s ideal for most flat surfaces and even corners that are hard to reach.

For this reason, it works best for removing the paint from walls and wood, even at tight corners.

You should definitely choose them over others if your budget allows it.

Q. Can I Use the Paint Sander with Paint Stripping Gel?

A. Personally, I don’t recommend this idea.

Sander is generally the power tool that’s designed to be used dry. Most manufacturers advise not to use them with any kind of solvents or chemicals.

If, for some reason, you use it with a stripping gel or a solvent, it can throw away the gel in all directions, causing a messy area and walls around it.

Q. Can I Also Use My Orbital Sander to Sand My Car Surface?

A. Yes, you can.

Most of these power tools are designed for removing the old paint from almost any kind of surface (including the metallic car or truck body).

While an orbital sander can be suitable for smaller areas, it is good to use a straight-line sander (that comes with more power) to sand larger surface areas in a short period of time.

Q. Can a File Sander or a Finger Sander Be Used for Removing Paint?

A. File sander (also known as finger sander) comes with a very narrow belt that helps them get into the smallest of spaces for removing the paint or sanding the surfaces.

It can be either electric or air-powered, and it’s an excellent option when you want to reach the areas that are very thin.

Most of the time, your regular sander would not reach those areas.

Q. Can You Sand After You Paint or Between Multiple Coats?

A. Yes, it’s recommended to sand the surface between multiple coats and also after you have painted the surface thoroughly.

Do remember, since you have already sanded the surface before painting, it’s important to use fine sandpaper between coats and super-fine sandpaper after the final paint coat.

Sand only after the paint is dry to get a smooth and even surface.

Finally, choosing the best kind of sander to remove or strip away paint from walls takes a bit of research, but finding the right fit for your job can make all the difference.

Use the guide above to judge which sander to use for your next paint-removal project. In doing so, you’ll enjoy greater comfort and efficiency.

7 Best Sander for Wood Trim Work – Must Have Tool Before Painting

From building furniture and refurbishing existing furnishings to touching up the doors, tables, and other wooden pieces in your home, Read more

The 5 Best Paint Edger Tools of 2024
Paint Edger

Getting the best paint job means more than using the right paint. This means in addition to having good brushes Read more

The 5 Best HVLP Sprayers for Wood Furniture
HVLP Paint Spray Gun for Cabinets

I remember the early days when my father, as a painter, does not have many such options for spraying the Read more

What is a Paint Shield – What it is Used for?
Using Paint Shield

Got a DIY spray painting project that you’re anxious to get rightly done? Maybe a paint spray shield (or a Read more

About | Contact | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use

error: Content is protected !!