The cost of a professional to refinish your wood furniture could be extensive depending on who you hire and where you live, but, luckily, this is a job you can do yourself. The first stage of this job calls for the use of chemical strippers, which isn’t a task performed every day by most folks. To learn how to do use chemical strippers yourself, follow our guide below!
When it comes to refinishing furniture, removing the old finish is the most unpleasant part. To remove old varnish or paint, sanding and chemical strippers are the best options, but sanding only works well with the right equipment and experience, which not everyone has. For most people, the easiest, fastest method for removing varnish and paint from wood furniture is using chemical, or paint, strippers. Admittedly, there will likely still be sanding involved to produce the best results once the stripper has removed the old finish. Also, if you plan to restore valuable or antique furniture, look at products that are designed for cleaning and restoring antique furniture without any refinishing.
Using Chemical Strippers
Used incorrectly, chemical strippers can go wrong fast. You will require eye protection, rubber gloves, and proper ventilation when using strippers, and you’ll want to follow your container’s safety recommendations closely.
Also, choose hydrophobic strippers requiring no cleanup, because “no cleanup” strippers might leave residue behind. Rinsing with water could swell the wood’s grain, requiring the raised grain to be sanded lightly. Strippers come in liquids, but thicker forms are called semi-pastes, pastes, or gels, with thicker strippers working well for vertical surfaces while liquids can only work for horizontal surfaces.
While it can differ between products (always refer to the manufacturer’s directions), the rules for strippers are typically as follows:
- Apply the stripper onto an area with a thick layer and without disturbing it once it’s been applied. Let it set for the recommended time.
- Once the time is up, test the finish using a putty knife. If the knife cuts to the wood, move to the next step, but don’t wait so long that the stripper dries.
- Remove as much vanish or paint as possible with a round-edged scraping tool—avoid gouging into the wood. Follow up with medium-grade steel wool, which, when soaked in the stripper, can help in removing stubborn spots. Some finishes, especially enamel, might require additional stripper applications before the job is completely done.
- Once as much finish has been removed as possible using the stripper, scraper, and steel wool, adhere to your manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning off the stripper from the wood. A few products call for the stripper being removed with paint remover or turpentine while others call for a simple water rinse. Allow the wood to dry entirely before you attempt to prepare the wood for staining and finishing.
If you’re looking for a quality chemical stripper, please click here and feel free to check out the Hipp’s Help store for any home improvement needs or supplies for projects. We offer FREE ship to store for all of Mountain View customers. And we also offer reasonable shipping rates for the rest of our customers throughout the country.
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