Wednesday, August 20, 2008


The table top and chair above originally had green legs. The table top was badly scarred and the finish had been damaged. I used a citrus-based stripper which eats through old finish (and vinyl gloves) very quickly, but which doesn't have an offensive odor and doesn't strip off skin. Thank goodness.

The project would look better if I'd done what I normally do when finishing furniture, which is to stain first, then add polyurethane as a protective coat. I don't much like the combination product. It works, but it is NOT faster. It is cheaper, proving that you often get what you pay for.


pinky said...

Have you ever tried sanding the old stuff off then adding your new stain? I tried stripper but didn't like all the clean up. Sanding works out well especially if you use a coarse sheet then go down to a finer sheet. Plus they have lovely tools that help you sand stuff. I also use the poly too over everything. Even when I paint window trim. It seems to make it a smoother surface.

Judy said...

I usually start with unfinished furniture. It's so much easier. This table was free, though, so worth the effort.

The citrus based stripper cleaned off the old finish really quickly. I used a plastic scraper to push the gunk off onto newspaper, rolled it up and tossed it. It really was less work than sanding would have been.

I need to repaint some windows and the trim in my downstairs bathroom. I think I'll take your suggestion and put a clear poly coat over both. Even gloss enamel really doesn't stand up well to boys and dogs.

Judy said...

I forgot to mention that I did use fine steel wool to polish the surface before adding the stain. It really smooths things out quickly and even an enthusiastic young helper can't gouge anything.