Stripping furniture is a very important step in preparing the furniture for painting. It is not always necessary to use a chemical stripper, it always depends on the finish that the piece of furniture has on it and the finish you are trying to achieve. Most of the pieces I have been working on so far, didn’t need to be stripped, and a light sanding was enough..On some cases, it is a necessary step.
This mid-century console that I picked up at Goodwill a few weeks ago, had a tick lacquer finish that was scratched and just need to go away. Plus, I wasn’t fond of the color either.
I have to admit that stripping furniture wasn’t one of my favorite things to do. It seemed that every time I used chemical stripper, I ended up with a mess. I was struggling to get the surface clean, and get rid of left over product.
I have used a few products, but Citristip is the best one I have tried, by far. First, it doesn’t have the chemical “nose burning” smell like other products, instead, it is a very pleasant citrus scent. I use a very cheap brush that I keep just for that purpose, to apply the product onto the furniture.
Please consider the following when using this product:
- first thing to consider is the temperature of the room, or outside, if you are working in a garage like me. In the winter, you will need to leave the product to work for a longer amount of time. You will need less time in the summer, as the heat accelerates the process. It is very hot now in Arizona, over 100F, and I did the mistake of applying the product in the middle of the afternoon.It dried before it got a chance to work.
- work in small sections. I started with the top, and after is was clean, I moved to the next section.
- apply the paint remover with a wide brush, or just pour it on and distribute it with a brush. The quality or condition of the brush doesn’t matter. Lay the remover onto the surface with the flat of the brush, and don’t spread out the mixture as you would paint. Use what you think is plenty, and then add some more, coating the surface thickly with the remover.
- don’t be impatient, and wait until the product has done it’s job. Wait about 30 minutes or so before testing the results of the remover — not 5 or 10 or 20 minutes, but 25 to 30 minutes or even more. Experimentation will show you the optimum time, but taking time at the outset will save you time in the long haul.You know it’s done when its starts looking like this…
- scrape away all the old finish with a wide-bladed putty knife. Work slow, and try to not scratch and damage the wood.
- if you still have some product left on, use the the Citristrip after-wash or just some paint thiner to remove it. I use a stripping pad that I soak with product and then go over the surface.
When I was done, the garage floor looked something like this..
After the piece was entirely stripped off, I went over with a 1oo grit sandpaper, and finished with a 220 grit sandpaper, as I am looking to have this piece re-stained, and I need a soft surface to work on.
Hope you will find this post useful, and maybe it will help you avoid some of the mistakes that I have made.