Fast & Easy Way To Do Furniture Stripping

Posted in Furniture Makeover
Furniture stripping can give you beautiful result with a little effort.

Furniture stripping has NEVER been one of my favorite projects. I was pretty close to saying I hated it when I found a product that made it a lot easier. Now I can say it’s okay. Let’s be honest. Does anyone really enjoy stripping furniture? Ha, I didn’t think so but it has to be done.

This post contains a few affiliate links to help you find the products I use. You are not charged extra to use any of the links, but any income I make will be used for more fun projects! To see my full disclaimer, click here. 

Furniture Stripping Basics

Furniture stripping has never been one of my favorite projects, but I found a product that makes it so much easier. #furniturestripping Here are the products I used for this project.

Before furniture stripping, I always start with a clean piece. I use a 1:1 ratio of denatured alcohol and water in a spray bottle. I lightly spray over all of the wood and wipe with a soft cotton cloth to remove dirt and oils from the surface.

Applying The Varnish Remover

I don't mind furniture stripping when I have the right products. #furniturestrippingI began by applying a liberal coat of the Citristrip orange gel with a disposable chip brush to the areas that I wanted the varnish removed. With this project, I only removed the varnish from the top of this dresser. The base will be painted after the furniture stripping is complete.

There's a right time and a wrong time when your doing furniture stripping? #furniturestrippingWait for it… wait for it to do its job. You will notice the varnish start to pull away from the wood. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. You can see the visual differences in the varnish in the photo above. If it’s removed too soon, you need to reapply. I used a plastic scraper to remove the dissolved varnish.

After removing all that yucky stuff, you will need to let the surface completely dry before the next step. The wood surface needs to be sanded smooth before applying the gel stain color of your choice. Gray gel stain is amazing on wood. Just saying, 🙂 In video #3 I go over applying a topcoat. Be sure not to miss this step. You’ll want to create a lasting finish on your beautiful new wood finish.

How To Stripe Old Varnish/Refinishing Part 1

How To Stripe Old Varnish/Refinishing Part 2

Painting The Base Of Your Furniture

Furniture stripping doesn't mean your ready to go after removing the varnish. You still need to sand the surface smooth to get ready for new stain. #furniturestrippingAfter a quick sanding with my Makita Orbital Sander, I wiped the surface one last time with the denatured alcohol and water mixture. The alcohol in the mix allows it to dry quickly so I didn’t have to wait long to paint.

Choosing The Right Paint For Your Project

When furniture stripping, I sometimes add contrast to my furniture by painting the lower part a beautiful complementary color. #furniturestrippingWith this dresser, I chose a General Finishes Milk Paint. It’s the perfect paint for even first time painter. I thoroughly enjoy using it when I can. @ coats of paint and no primer was needed. This is not the norm when it comes to furniture painting, but there are times that I don’t always use a primer. This piece was in good shape and was light in color. Had it been a cherry wood or any red-toned stain that could possibly bleed through the paint, I would have used BIN 123 shellac Primer.

The Result Of Stripping Furniture

Furniture stripping is worth the effort when you get a finish like this on your wood dresser. #furniturestripping


Strpping furniture is worth all the effort when you get a beautiful finish on your furniture. #furniturestrippingShe’s a real looker! Love this makeover? How about something a little over the top. I have this cool rust finish for furniture and you can see it all by CLICKING HERE!

Until the next project… xo, Do