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5 Best Ways to Remove Dried Citristrip on Furniture and Wood: Easy DIY

Citristrip is my all-time favorite paint stripper. I LOVE how easy it is to use AND that it is safer than most other types of paint strippers. So, I use it pretty regularly.

In fact, I share YouTube videos and furniture makeover tutorials using Citristrip. BUT, there is one mistake people make with Citristrip that I get comments about on my videos.

They let the Citristrip completely dry before trying to scrape the gel stripper and paint off. Dry Citristrip residue is pretty stinking hard to scrape off! In fact, nearly impossible.

But, don’t worry, today I have the 5 best ways to remove dried Citristrip on wood, metal, masonry, and furniture. And, some tips for getting the best result when using Citristrip Paint Remover.

Image showing a paint scrapper removing citristrip from a table for a post about 5 ways to remove dried Citristrip on wood, furniture, concrete, and metal.
It should be pretty easy to scrape Citristrip off furniture. If it isn’t, it’s probably too dry.

How To Remove Dried Citristrip

If any of the instructions below are confusing, watch this short video showing me use these options to clean off Citristrip residue.

How To Remove Dried Citristrip and Citristrip Residue! (Testing 5 EASY Ways)

Let’s start with the easiest way to remove Citristrip residue off after it dries and hardens.

More Citristrip

Whenever I need to remove dried Citristrip residue, I just apply a new layer of wet Citristrip on it. Let that soak into the dried Citristrip for 20 minutes or so, then it should be ready to scrape.

In my opinion, applying a fresh layer of Citristrip is the quickest and easiest way to remove dried Citristrip gel.

Image showing Citristrip applied with a brush on a table.
Citristrip about to be applied with a brush on a table.

Paint Stripper After Wash

You can also clean off Citristrip residue or any paint stripper residue with Klean- Strip’s Stripper After Wash. It’s a liquid product you apply to a rag to use.

But, Stripper After Wash has strong fumes. Be sure to follow the directions for safety and proper use on the container. You can see Stripper After Wash on Amazon here.

Use Another Paint Stripper

You can also use another paint stripper to remove dried Citristrip. Just remember to use those high-VOC, high fume paint strippers outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. The fumes can last all day.

I haven’t actually tried this, but I have had quite a few people comment on my YouTube videos that this works.

Image of Odorless Mineral Spirits, a rag, and a paint stripping pad.
The Odorless Mineral Spirits, a scrap rag, and paint stripping pad I used on this Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture post.

Mineral Spirits

You can also use Mineral Spirits on a paint stripping pad to scrub the dried Citristrip off. This will require elbow-grease on thick layers of dried Citristrip.

Again, I prefer to just apply a fresh layer of Citristrip to clean up Citristrip that is thick. That’s the easiest. But using Mineral Spirits will remove paint stripper residue.

In fact, I always use Mineral Spirits on a paint stripping pad to remove any little bits of Citristrip residue on wood furniture. You can find Odorless Mineral Spirits here and paint stripping pads here on Amazon.

Easy DIY Steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture. Simple to follow guide for how to strip paint on wood furniture, cabinets, steps, and floors.
Midway through rubbing paint residue off with a cloth and Mineral Spirits. You can see how it kind of pills up before wiping off.

Denatured Alcohol

You can also remove gummy or dried paint stripper with denatured alcohol on a clean, lint-free rag.

Just be sure to use it outdoors. Alcohol has strong fumes. And, don’t forget to follow the safety directions on the container.

How To Clean Off Citristrip Residue On Wood

I use Odorless Mineral Spirits to clean off Citristrip residue on wood. You can apply Mineral Spirits to a heavy-duty paint stripping pad to scrub off any residue and small gummy bits of Citristrip and paint.

Image shows how to remove Citristrip residue with text that says 5 best ways to remove dried Citristrip on wood. Clean up Citristrip.
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Can You Sand Dried Citristrip?

You should remove the dried Citristrip before sanding. Sanding it will likely gum up your sanding pads, causing you to use A LOT of sanding pads.

If you still need to remove old paint or stain, I prefer to remove dried Citristrip with a fresh layer of Citristrip. Let that sit on the dried layer for 20 minutes and you should be able to scrape off the Citristrip with paint stripping tools.

If you only have a light layer or small spots of dried Citristrip, you can use Mineral Spirits and a Heavy-Duty stripping pad to remove it from wood, furniture, metal, and concrete.

Easy DIY Steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture. Simple to follow guide for how to strip paint on wood furniture, cabinets, steps, and floors.
About to scrub the leftover paint and dried Citristrip residue with a stripping pad and Mineral Spirits (Before and after photo).

What Removes Residue After Stripping Paint

You can use Mineral Spirits or Denatured Alcohol to remove residue after stripping paint. Just be sure to follow the safe usage directions on their containers.

How To Strip Paint With Citristrip Paint Remover

If you are new to using Citristrip, here’s how to use Citristrip paint remover to get the best results.

Materials Needed


  1. Apply a thick layer of Citristrip with a chippy paint brush.
  2. Cover the Citristrip with Plastic Wrap to keep the gel wet and help it penetrate deeper.
  3. Wait 30 minutes, then scrape the Citristrip and paint layers off with paint stripping tools.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 for multiple layers of paint.
  5. Clean off any Citristrip residue with Mineral Spirits and a Paint Stripping Pad.

Video Guide

If any of these steps are confusing, watch this video to see me using Citristrip on a chair with thick layers of paint.

The EASY Way to Strip Paint from Wood Furniture With Citristrip Paint Remover & Plastic Wrap

More DIY Tips and Tutorials for Furniture

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Feeling inspired? That’s it for how to remove dried Citristrip on wood, furniture, metal, and concrete! Let me know if you have questions.

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