Wood Furniture Stripping In Six Easy Steps Wood Furniture Stripping In Six Easy Steps

Your old wood furniture can easily be restored and renewed by removing, or stripping, its finish. This way, you can give your furniture a whole new look and save a good deal of money at the same time. In order to properly strip your furniture, be sure to collect the below suggested materials and follow the easy steps thereafter.

Tool and Materials Needed

•    Protective eye wear;
•    Chemical resistant gloves;
•    Stripping liquid;
•    Lacquer thinner;
•    Paint brushes, natural 2” and 1/2” brush sizes;
•    Scotchbrite;
•    Empty 1-gallon paint can;
•    Metal or plastic scrapers, and;
•    Plastic bristled brush.

Step 1 – Protect Yourself

Before starting with the stripping process, make sure that you are properly protected by wearing a protective eye wear and the appropriate working gloves. You will be working with harsh chemicals and if some of the liquid comes in contact with your skin or eyes, it could cause severe irritation. 

Step 2 – Pour Stripping Liquid into an Open Container

Once you have your protective gear on, pour the stripping liquid into your paint can. Be sure that your paint can has a large opening so that you will not have trouble using it and avoid spillage. Then, apply a thick coat of the stripping liquid on the wood surface using the 2" natural bristled brush. When working on larger areas, you can pour the liquid directly on the wood surface and use the smaller brush to help it absorb into the wood.

Step 3 – Allow the Stripper to Sit for 10 Minutes

Next, allow the stripping liquid to sit on the wood surface for about 10 minutes. The surface of the wood furniture may wrinkle, dissolve, or soften depending on the type of finish on the furniture.

Step 4 – Test the Wood Surface


After 10 minutes, try to scrape the surface of the furniture using your metal scraper. If the finish doesn’t come off easily, you can either wait for another few minutes and try to scrape it once more or you can apply an additional coat of the stripping liquid and test it after 10 minutes.

Step 5 – Remove the Finish

Once you are sure that the wood finish is ready for the stripping job, use your metal scraper, plastic scraper, scotchbrite, or bristled brush to scrape off the finish off the wood surface. Make sure that you don’t scratch or damage the wood while scraping the finish off the wood surface. You can do this by tilting your wrist downward which helps to alleviate some of the pressure on the wood. Although scraping uses some forceful motion, you should only employ enough force to remove the finish. Once you are finished working on the flat surfaces, work on the corners, curves, recessed and raised surfaces using the scotchbrite or bristled brush.

Step 6 – Use Lacquer Thinner to Remove Residue


While you may get a majority of the finish off, you may need to use a lacquer thinner to remove the remaining residue. Apply a liberal amount of the thinner onto the wood and use the scotchbrite to remove the residue from the wood surface. Repeat the procedure using a fresh layer of the thinner and apply it on the surface using a cotton cloth. Allow the furniture to dry out for at least a day before applying a new finish.

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