At yard sales or thrift shops, you can find pieces of wood furniture that will look excellent once stripped of their unsightly paint. Stripping the piece reveals the beautiful oak, cherry, or other wood underneath. This is an economical way to furnish a room and does not require much effort.
You Will Need:
- Clean rags
- Mineral spirits
- Paint stripper
- Paint brush
- Paint scraper, putty knife, or old spatula
- Cotton swabs
- Rubber gloves
- Safety goggles
- Drop cloth, sheet, heavy duty garbage bags, or pieces of newspaper
Step 1: Ensure that the value of the piece of furniture will not decline if the finish is stripped.
Step 2: Select a well-ventilated spot and make sure there are no flame-inducing devices in the vicinity. Place a drop cloth, cut-open garbage bags, newspaper, or sheet on the floor. If the floor surface is valuable, choose an impermeable cloth or garbage bag so no chemicals will penetrate the floor.
Step 3: Remove the hardware from the furniture. When working on a chair, remove the seat cushion and place it in a separate location. Put the furniture on the floor covering. If it has legs, place it on some scrap wood pieces or bricks, so the legs won’t stick to the cloth when they are stripped.
Step 4: Put on the safety goggles and gloves.
Step 5: Using the paintbrush, apply a thick layer of paint stripper. Let it sit for five to ten minutes.
Step 6: Scrape off bubbled varnish or paint and stripper in strips using a putty knife, paint scraper, or old spatula. Use cotton swabs or a toothbrush to remove paint or varnish from crevices. Be careful not to mar or scratch soft woods or gouge thin veneers.
Step 7: Repeat application of wood stripper as necessary to remove all paint or varnish.
Step 8: Use the mineral spirits and clean rags to wipe the furniture. Allow the furniture to dry. Re-finish or re-paint the piece as desired.