The Easiest Way to Strip Furniture
Furniture renovation is a great way of expressing your creativity. It not only saves you money, but it can also be as good for the environment as it is for your wallet.
Old wooden furniture such as tables, chairs and cabinets have often been constructed from good quality natural wood by skilled craftsmen and the quality is always vastly superior to most affordable furniture available today. This means that throwing away old furniture that now looks shabby and neglected can be very wasteful, especially when stripping and renovating it is so easy to do.
Restored vintage wooden furniture looks fantastic in any home. It introduces a timeless originality if it is in good condition. So, if you have ever considered stripping and refinishing that inherited table or have rescued a set of old wooden chairs from a thrift store or dumpster, it’s time to get busy.
If the furniture piece is in good sound condition apart from its exterior finish, it is easy to bring it back to a new life by stripping old flaky paint and uneven varnish and replacing with a brand new finish.
Sander or paint stripper? What do you need to strip furniture successfully?
In general, you have two choices: sanding or stripping. Both methods are effective but, in most cases, stripping is far easier and provides a more even finish.
Sanding can be problematic. This is because if the furniture piece is unevenly painted or some of the varnish has worn off, it can be hard to get an even finish with a sander. If the sander coverage is patchy this will have an impact on how your furniture looks when you come to paint, stain or re-varnish it.
By contrast, stripping removes old paint and varnish evenly, which provides a better base for the next stage of renovation.
The downside to stripping is that it can be messy and dangerous if you don’t use the right product or proper protective gear.
Many paint strippers use dangerous chemicals which require careful handling and protection, and you need to allow the stripping compound enough time to work. For some paint stripping products this may require leaving the product in place overnight, creating a toxic area that is potentially very unsafe for you and the occupants of your home.
What are the dangers of paint strippers?
Traditional paint strippers are toxic. Many contain a solvent called Methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane (DCM) which can cause serious medical problems. Methylene chloride works extremely well as a paint stripper, but it has been linked to causing death from cancer and liver damage.
Although products containing this dangerous ingredient come with warnings such as to keep the area well ventilated and to wear protective clothing and breathing equipment, most home users do not possess the right protective gear or simply ignore warning labels.
Latex gloves do not prevent these dangerous chemicals from being absorbed through the skin and ordinary dust masks do not prevent you from inhaling dangerous fumes. This means that even if you follow the product safety instructions to the letter, you could still be putting yourself at risk.
The good news is that although most paint strippers are dangerous, there is a safe and easy alternative. GreenEZ Furniture Stripper and Finishing Cleaner provide a safe, user and environmentally friendly alternative which does not contain harmful toxins, carcinogens, or exude toxic fumes.
GreenEZ Stripping products are based on soybean oil formulas with naturally occurring compounds, which are 100% Biodegradable and much safer to use with minimal safety precautions.
How to strip furniture safely with GreenEZ Strip & Clean Furniture Stripping Kit.
Preparation is always key to a successful job. Before you start paint stripping, make sure you are working in a well ventilated room (or outside if the weather is good) and protect the surrounding area from drips and spills.
Always wear nitryl gloves, a dust & particulate mask, as well as protective goggles or glasses. Even if the paint stripper does not cause toxic fumes and is free of dangerous health hazardous products, it is always best to minimize skin contact with chemicals and protect your eyes from potential splashing. If you don't happen to have safety equipment, the GreenEZ Deluxe Furniture Stripping Kit has all the necessary tools to accomplish a clean and easy strip.
Apply the paint stripper to the area you wish to cover. To slow down drying time, you can cover the applied GreenEZ Furniture Stripper with plastic or cellophane, so that the stripper remains active for a longer period.
Allow the stripper to do its job. In most cases 45-60 minutes is sufficient, and you are easily able to tell when it is ready by visual curling and lifting of old paint, or simply scraping the surface lightly with a disposable putty knife.
Scrape the surface until all old residue has gone. Most coatings come away easily, and to avoid damaging the wood, it is best to use metal or disposable putty knives applied flat at a slight angle, to lift and remove the coatings without gouging or scratching the wooden surface underneath.
GreenEZ Finishing Cleaner removes residual stain and varnish, cleans the surface of any residual stripper, without damaging the wood.
Once the surface is clean, leave the furniture piece to dry thoroughly and it will be ready for the next stage of finishing.
Paint stripping is the easy first step to fantastic results
Once your piece of furniture is ready for re painting or re-varnishing, the next stage is easy.
First you will need to add a wood primer to prevent porous wooden surfaces from soaking up your top coat of paint or varnish. Allow this to dry thoroughly and then you can get creative with colors, stains or varnishes without too much delay.
Although it is tempting to apply new color direct to the stripped wood, you will find that the final finish is greatly improved if you treat the wood with a primer first, and then apply the chosen finish.
Vintage furniture can look fantastic when painted in bright colors, but this will depend on your own taste and requirements. You can also apply wood stain or varnish for a more natural finish.
No expensive tools are necessary
You no longer need DIY tools or special equipment in order to rejuvenate tired furniture. You just need a scraper, some paint brushes, protective clothing and the right products.
With a safe ecologically aware non-toxic paint stripper like GreenEZ Furniture Stripper on hand, you can transform your old furniture without too much elbow grease and without any special DIY skills.
As with all DIY projects, preparation is key to success and once your wooden furniture is ready for repainting or a new coat of varnish, most of the hard work is over.