Strip Furniture of Old Paint
How to reveal a vintage gem under all the old paint
This Old House staffers love to haul home scruffy vintage steals that have hidden potential. Case in point: We bought this turned-leg chair at a tag sale for $30, knowing a looker lurked beneath the crusty coats of paint. Removing them is a simple task for beginners and experts alike: We applied a good chemical stripper, waited until it penetrated the finish, then used a few basic tools and a little elbow grease to unearth the bare wood. If your old kitchen chairs could use an overhaul, here's what you need for the job.
Products with methylene chloride work fast but must be used outdoors or in a well-ventilated area; NMP-based strippers aren't as quick but can be used indoors safely. In any case, use a natural-bristle brush to apply it.
4. Franmar's Soy Gel (NMP), about $21; Franmar Chemical
5. Circa 1850 Furniture Stripper (methylene chloride), about $11; Swing Paints
After scraping, rub a nylon scouring pad over the entire surface. Then, using a light touch, sweep joints and milled details clean with a soft brass-bristled brush or a sanding cord.
10. Sanding cord, about $6; Mitchell Abrasives
11. Brass brush, about $3; Ace Hardware
12. Scotch-Brite pad, about $3 for 3; hardware stores