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How to Strip Furniture

Written by; Tevin Pennington / TCCN Staff Writer
Added on: Mon Aug 24 2009


Stripping furniture is a way to refurbish wood pieces to its natural beauty. Furniture may have rings from drinks placed directly on it. It may due to a child's ability to mess up everything in a household, evening the children. It is rather labor-intensive, but well worth it on quality pieces. A quality piece of wood furniture can be passed down from one generation to the next. They become heirlooms and are considered antiques. They are worth a lot of money. It is important to follow directions exactly; taking shortcuts will result in less than desirable results.

The proper tools and materials are always important. In the case of stripping furniture, it is even more crucial. It is the difference between a good or great preparation.

The tools needed are: either a brass-bristle brush, an old toothbrush or a vegetable brush, a flexible putty knife, gloves a natural silk paintbrush, No. 2 steel wool, No. 220 silicone lube paper, putty knife, respirator, safety glasses, wood putty and a short-pile paint roller. The material list includes: artist acrylic paint, bleach, finishing product, gouger, jute, metal hydrate, plastic container, remover, stain, string, turpentine and wood filler.

As always, the first step is preparation. Cover with masking tape the parts of the wood that you don't want to strip. Remove drawers, doors, hardware and any other accessories.

Apply the remover to the wood piece. Work in the direction of the grain while wearing gloves to protect your hands. Using a small amount of remover in a plastic container along with a bristle brush, it is quite easy to remove the stain on the furniture. Let the remover dry. It is important to do this in a well-ventilated area. If possible, stripping furniture outdoors is ideal because the chemicals used to strip the furniture can also be harmful to humans.

Then take the paring knife and try to remove the old finish. The brushstrokes should be sweeping. Repeat the process, removing as much stain as you possibly can. Then use a rag that has been dampened with turpentine or paint thinner. This is to be used to thoroughly wipe down a piece of wood furniture after the remover has soaked in. Clean any grooves with no. 2 steel wool. When the wood is dry, lightly sand with no. 220 silicone lube paper. Vacuum using the round brush attachment.

Continuing with this project, now that the wood has been exposed, you may see some repairs need to be made. Overfill holes with wood putty because the putty will shrink. Apply artist paint to bring back the wood grain if necessary. Stain wood according to the stain's directions. Use a short-pile paint roller to apply the stain. Allow the stain to dry overnight. Apply a top or finishing coat. Allow the coat to dry overnight.

Stripping furniture is a very complex project. But as you look at your family as you eat at the dinner table with your refurbished dining room chairs, you notice how beautiful everything is.


Copyright: 2009

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