Refinish Furniture

Do It Yourself Furniture Refinishing
Paint Stripper

SOY-Gel? Paint and Urethane Remover SOY-Gel Paint and Urethane Remover. Easily remove multiple layers of paint, urethane, acrylic, epoxy or enamel without the back-breaking work of sanding and chiseling and without the odor of other furniture strippers!

Stripping was our name and stripping was our game. . .according to some.

We moved our business several times because we kept running out of room. One of the buildings we moved to was next door to a tavern. One of our first loop legged visitors from next door stopped to ask my wife where the nearest drug store was, he needed some aspirin. After she gave him directions for aspirin, he asked how to get back to the freeway to Seattle, he kind of had a memory lapse. Just then our daughter who was about 5 or 6 at the time came running up and said, "My Mommy strips". The guy looked kind of thunder struck and said, "I don't think I'll touch that one", and left.

My Mommy strips. . .FURNITURE

We don't know if he ever got on his way to Seattle, but every time my wife walked by our daughter for about a month she said, "My Mommy strips. . . FURNITURE" until she was sure the furniture part stuck.

Free woodworking catalog

See our section of replies to questions people have asked.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

See our Furniture Stripping Basic page for bare bones information with more information about paint stripper.

Stripping Furniture

Stripping furniture can be relaxing or frustrating. One of the main ingredients in stripping furniture is PATIENCE.

Paint Stripper

Lots of people will disagree with me, but stripping products are kind of six of one and half a dozen of another.

Some will work good on some finishes and others will work good on other finishes, but try the cheapest first, because the ones that are most expensive are the ones you see most in magazines and other ad media, so you pay a lot for their advertising rather than a better product. Our favorites were among the cheapest.

paint stripperAs with everything in this life, there is an exception. There are environmentally safe strippers that you can use inside that won't send you gasping to a window periodically.

Citristrip paint stripper is one of the very good ones which will make short work of stripping paint and old finishes and has a very pleasant orange smell. Strip furniture and experience aroma therapy all in one whack.

Used carefully, spray paint stripper can really be an advantage on spindles and carved areas.

When you're stripping chairs or any other types of spindles, or something with lots of nooks and crannys, there is nothing like a spray. You need to make sure that everything that could be damaged with over spray is covered, but the time saved from spraying is far greater than the time taken to cover other things.

Let The Paint Stripper Do The Work

If you're working hard and getting frustrated because the finish won't come off, it's probably because you aren't letting the remover do its work. Some times it is necessary to put several coats on before the old finish is ready to come off. If you try scraping the old finish off before it is ready you waste paint stripper and energy. Use a scraper with rounded corners. If the remover laden finish dries before you get back to it, it can be reactivated with another application.


Gloves can be a nuisance when you're stripping furniture, but they sure make things better for your hide. Gauntlet gloves that can be turned up can save you some extra exercise, dancing around because stripper ran up to your elbow on to the more tender skin.

Furniture stripping and refinishing chemicals can be very hard on your skin, from drying your skin and causing a burny, stingy feeling to very severe chemical burns and blistering on sensitive skin. Nitrile Gloves will last longer than regular vinyl gloves and will generally not cause any skin problems liky vinyl can.

Eye Protection

Eye protection is always a good idea when you're working with chemicals or anything foreign that may fly into your eyes. All it takes is just one little fleck of stripper laden paint in your eye to burn and sting like the dickens.

Read a Good Book

It's always good to have another project going when you're stripping to keep you occupied, because stripping is boring rather than labor intensive. Furniture stripping is a good time to catch up on that good book you've been going to read, or write a letter. Let the stripper sit and do it's job and enjoy yourself while you're waiting.

Stripping Spindles

Flat surfaces are quite easy to strip, but spindles can be kind of tricky. This is where you need to counter with some tricks of your own. First, strip the heavy stuff off, then on to the final stripping step. Pieces of burlap or other coarse cloth work good on spindles, worked around, back and forth on softened finish. String or rough twine is also good for tight turnings. One of our most used tools was a piece of dowel about the size of a pencil, sharpened in a pencil sharpener. It's good for the grooves in turnings, cracks, gouges and lots of other uses.

sanding cordSanding cord is another great invention for working on spindles and use as a removal tool. It's like sandpaper on a string.

stripping pad

Stripping pads are very useful too. They're about equivalent to burlap and can be rinsed out and reused until they come apart.

If a spindle that you are working on is moveable, like chair rungs, and you are using liquid remover, support the spindle over a pan (a 9 x 14 cake pan from a thrift shop is good) and using a brush, keep daubing stripper on the spindle. Use your sharpened dowel periodically to remove any softened finish from grooves, then go back to daubing. Eventually the finish will all come off. Even ten coats. In a situation where old paint just won't come off of a spindle, try an old screwdriver that has rounded corners. Don't sharpen the screwdriver or you may ruin the spindle.

Clean Up

paint stripper washUse a commercial after paint stripper wash, such as Citristrip Wash or denatured alcohol, and 0000 steel wool as a final wash. Let the piece dry thoroughly (overnight is best) then rub it all down with 0000 steel wool to remove flecks of wax and to check to be sure that all of the old finish is gone. Almost all strippers have wax in them which forms a skim on top to slow evaporation. The 0000 steel wool rub also prepares the surface for a new finish. More about finishes later.

Always remember that the surface preparation is the most important part of a good finish. You can use the very finest of finishing procedures, but not have a nice appearing finish if the surface isn't prepared properly first. As a final touch, go over the whole piece with a tack cloth to clean any steel wool strands and dust.

Disposal Of Waste Products

Be very careful of disposal of your paint stripper waste products, residue, paper towels, rags, etc. A pile of rags with residue of flammable material can catch fire by spontaneous combustion. It's best to keep a bucket of water handy to throw used paper towels and rags in and another container to hold the gloopy stripped residue or other finish until you're ready to dispose of them.

Check with your waste disposal facility (garbage dump, from years past) to see how to dispose of the remnants. If you have very old painted furniture, which may have lead paint, check with the hazardous waste people in your area to see how to dispose of the residue. ALWAYS wear gloves when stripping old paint. NEVER sand old painted finishes, the paint may contain lead and you could create a lead cloud, very detrimental to you and to others who might come in contact with it. Stripper will keep it moist and dust free.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] - Online Art Supplies
We're proud to be an affiliate of Blick Art Materials

Answers to Email | On-Line Catalog | Fountain Restoration.

Outdoor Furniture History, Care and more.
Toms Variety | Privacy Policy

© 1998 - - - - Today's date -

© 1998 -

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Rockler Woodworking
Woodworking, refinishing, restoration, tools, materials, supplies
Woodworking, refinishing, restoration, tools, materials, supplies

Blick Art Materials
Refinishing and restoration
materials and supplies too.

Joann Crafts
Refinishing and restoration
materials and supplies too.

Custom Search