What You’ll Need:

* chemically resistant rubber gloves

* stripper

* xx and 00 steel wool pads

*  2 ” paint brush for application

* painters tool

* safety glasses

* respirator/mask

* paint thinner

* drop cloth

* small wooden dowel sharpened

Please Note: time needed for a project like this will vary depending on the stripping agent that you choose. citristrip {i’m a huge fan of this product! } and peel away, while more environmentally friendly, take a little bit longer to work than the pro stripper methylene chloride brands. so give yourself  at least 2 days to complete this project. patience and strict adherence to safety precautions are the only experience required! so, on that note let’s get started!


1. take some time to read the instructions on the back of the container, and make sure that you have the floor area covered where you will be working…it gets SUPER messy!


2. remove all hardware, and cover any areas that you do not want to get the stripping agent on.  pour the stripping agent into a metal paint tray for easy access and begin to apply a nice thick layer of stripper to your piece of furniture covering every little square inch using a brush. be careful to not over brush when applying the stripper as it will break the film that forms to prevent evaporation.

3. now comes the tricky, patience part i was telling you about. you will want to let this sit for several hours before trying to scrape the paint off with your painters tool. the paint should slide right off if the stripper has done it’s job. if not, reapply again. most of the time if you apply in the morning and take off in the afternoon all should be well and good. look for the bubbles, they are a good indicator that it is time to scrape.

4. be careful not to gouge your wood when scraping, the finish should come off very easily if ready, and then use steel wool or a scrubbing pad to remove any leftover residue.

5. once the piece is completely stripped down to the wood and you are satisfied, you can begin the cleaning process. use steel wool and either water or paint thinner, depending on the stripper you have used, and wipe down the piece entirely making sure all of the leftover stripping agent is removed. be careful not to saturate your piece too much with liquid.

6. once your piece is completely cleaned, set aside and let dry for several hours then begin sanding with 120 grit paper and move to 180 or 220 depending on whether the wood is a soft or hard wood.

now my friends, your piece is ready for whatever finish you decide to put on it!

just remember :

1. safety is super important, so follow all necessary precautions

2. be patient

3. make sure to let all stripping residue dry, and dispose of properly

*top image found here

*stripping process shots courtesy of centsational girl


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