Once applied to a wood surface, chemical strippers create a thick, gooey sludge that you must scrape up and collect for proper disposal. To make the process less messy, take a large, empty coffee can and cut a D-shaped hole in the plastic lid. The hole should be slightly larger than the putty knife you’ll use. When the stripper has dissolved the finish, scrape some off and dump it into the can, wiping the blade against the cutout. Dispose of the sludge as recommended by the stripper manufacturer. Do not wash it down a sink drain or dump it in a storm drain.