Step 2: Strip the old finish

John Thomas paints a thick coat of commercial stripper on wood
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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Using a wide natural-bristle brush, Thomas paints on a thick coat of commercial stripper, then lets it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, waiting for the surface to turn from glossy to dull. (Dull means the finish underneath has liquefied.) He keeps all the windows open to allow any fumes to escape.
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    Tools List

    • Natural-bristle chip brush
      Natural-bristle chip brush (for stripper)
    • putty knife
      Putty knife
    • pull scraper
      Pull scraper
    • Dental tools
      Dental tools
    • Toothbrush
      Toothbrush
    • shop vacuum
      Vacuum
    • Natural Bristle Brush
      Natural-bristle stain and varnish brush

    Shopping List

    1. Denatured alcohol

    2. Paint stripper

    3. Fine steel wool

    4. De-waxed shellac (Seal Cote)

    5. Cotton rag

    6. Cheesecloth

    7. Water-based glaze

    8. Wood dye

    9. Gloss spar varnish

    10. Mineral spirits (paint thinner)

    11. Satin spar varnish