First, with a paintbrush, slather chemical stripper over the wood’s surface. Spread it as evenly as possible. Depending on the type of finish, it may start to soften, wrinkle or dissolve altogether. Within 10 to 30 minutes, you should be able to remove the finish. Be sure to do this outside or in a well-ventilated area.
Use a plastic or metal scraper or a stiff brush to remove the finish. After it’s been scraped off, use lacquer thinner to remove any residue and wax left over from the stripper. Next, apply lacquer thinner to any shiny spots – these are spots where all of the finish has not been removed. Use a clean cotton cloth or heavy-duty paper towel to scrub away the remaining stripper.
Let the piece sit for a day before applying a new finish. Once it’s ready to be refinished, use a wood stain and apply a finish such as lacquer, shellac or other protective finish.
You might not need to strip any old finish off the piece before refinishing or painting. If so, you’ll just need to sand it. First, go over the piece with a coarse (800 to 100 grit) piece of sandpaper, then sand again with fine (220 grit) sandpaper. If the piece is painted, you’ll also need to remove the paint before refinishing. If the paint is fairly smooth and even, use sandpaper to sand the edges smooth. If there are chips in the paint, use a putty knife to remove any loose paint chips, then sand using fine grit sandpaper.
Once you’ve sanded the piece, do a tape test. Press a two to three-inch piece of transparent tape firmly onto the furniture, then rip it off. If no coating appears on the sticky side of the tape, it’s ready to be refinished.
To repaint the piece, use a polyester nylon brush for latex paint, or a natural bristle brush for oil-based paint. Apply the paint evenly in long strokes. Cover with two coats and wait 24 hours for the piece to dry.
Hart’s Country Furniture sells solid wood furniture. Visit www.pinefurnitureontario.com for more information.