Finish and Paint Removal Tips and Techniques

In this tutorial on Wood Furniture Finish Stripping, Rod gives us some insider "How To" tips and techniques to make the job easier.  He also reviews the DIY products you'll need to strip wood furniture.

First Step - What Products Will You Need ?

Many furniture refinishing projects start with stripping off the old finish.  In this Video, We'll go over some of the basic products you can use to make the finish removal a snap!

Watch Movie ~ Hardware Removal Tip

Let's get Started!!

So where do we start ?  Well, my first order of business was to remove any hardware on the piece of furniture I am stripping.  In this case, I am refinishing a chest of drawers.  Here is a video with some helpful tips on how to remove hardware from furniture.

Is Citrus Strip For You ?

In the above video, Attic Angel gives us a demonstration on using Citrus Strip to remove paint in a situation where it does work well for her.

In the above video, The Craftsman Blog gives us a demonstration on using Citrus Strip to remove paint in a situation where it doesn't work.

With so many paint removers.....where do I start?

Stripping furniture can be a chore, especially if we go about it with the wrong technique, tools and supplies. Using the right finish remover, following the right steps, and using the correct products can make a tough job so much easier !!


Before you begin your finish removal project, you may want to read Understanding Paint and Finish Removers

As we see in the videos above, one type/brand of stripper may work well on one piece, yet be a complete failure on another. That's where all the conflicting reviews and opinions come in. When a stripper fails to work, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad product. It just wasn't the right product for that particular finish.

We know that all paints and finishes are not the same. Therefor, unless we somehow know the exact chemical make up of the coating it can be hard to know exactly how a particular paint remover will soften it.

Citrus Strip, for example can work great one finish, and poorly the next.  However, with it's pleasant smell and its non toxic nature many people love and use it. It's far less predictable however that it's methylene chloride based counterpart. MC based stripper is far more hazardous to use, but very effective on almost all paints and finishes and softens paint in a fraction of the time it takes for Citrus Strip to do the same.