Step 3: Scrape down to the wood

A dull scraper is the best tool for removing stripper-softened finish from flat panels
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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A dull scraper is the best tool for removing stripper-softened finish from flat panels. But when Thomas comes to the tiny curves and crevices around the panels, he reaches for his pull scrapers, dental tools, toothbrushes—anything that can get into the hard-to-reach places. He's careful not to apply too much pressure: "Remove the finish, not the wood," he says.
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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