Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How to Strip

A piece of furniture, that is. Just think of the number of "stripping" comments that can be made along with this post. I think my husband tried to make just about all of them!

Anyways, I have never stripped a piece of furniture before. I usually just grab some primer and paint and call it good. I have had this coffee table sitting in my garage for a while now:

It started out like this:

But, then I decided to prime it and get it ready for paint. I didn't really have an inspiration, so I just let it sit and sit and sit and sit.

I have been loving all of the pieces I've seen lately with a stained top and painted body, so I decided to try that. That meant I would have to remove the primer I had so lovingly already applied. UGH!!

I had no idea how to strip a piece of furniture, so I headed to the hardware store to browse the aisles. Here's what I came home with:
Paint Thinner a.k.a. Mineral Spirits
Paint Brush
Mixing Cup
Diet Dr. Pepper - do NOT skip this ingredient

I started by applying a thick layer of the stripper. The consistency is similar to hair gel. I dumped it on top of the table and then spread it around with the flat part of the paint brush. According to the directions, you are not supposed to brush the stripper on, just spread it. When applying the stripper, more is more. The thicker the better. Almost immediately, the primer started to bubble, like this:

When working with stripper, be sure to wear gloves. I couldn't find any gloves, but luckily I had some plastic dog poo picking up bags that I wore on my hands. Real professional, I know!

I let the stripper sit for about 15-20 minutes. Here's what it looked like at this point:

Next, I took a scraper and starting scraped the paint off. It came off very easily in most places:

It didn't come off everywhere, so I applied more stripper. Waited and then scraped those places:

I got most of the paint off and then took a rag and wiped down the remainder. There was still a tiny bit of paint in the cracks, but don't worry about that.

You are not supposed to use a metal scraper because you can scratch the wood.  Because I will be distressing this piece, I didn't care if the wood was scratched.

The next step is to wipe the whole thing down with your mineral spirits or paint thinner. I just poured some in my little cup, dipped an old t-shirt in and wiped the table.

Finally, I took another clean, wet rag and gave the piece a final cleaning. I sanded a few small places that still had flecks of paint.

Here's what she looks like after being stripped:

This process was much easier than I expected and took less than an hour start to finish. Don't be afraid, everyone should strip at least once!  Please be aware that this is just the easy-peasy way to strip that I came up with.  It might not be the exact perfect way to do it.  For a better, more professional tutorial, check out this tutorial I found from the Refinish Wizard.

Come back next time to see how I finished off this piece.

Today's Creative Blog
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Reasons to Skip the Housework
Bella Before and After
Home Stories of A to Z
Tip Junkie
Type A Decorating
The Thrifty Home
Thrifty 101


Holly Gruszka said...

The scraping part looks kind of fun!

Anonymous said...

Don't leave the mineral spirits soaked rags in a closed container in your house. They're a serious fire hazard.
You made that look easy, and less intimidating.

Unknown said...

That table is awesome!

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Tammy @ Type A said...

love the tutorial! thanks for sharing this at my party!

Michelle said...

Great tutorial! I've wondered how well and how easy paint strippers worked. I'd love for you to come link up at DIY Thrifty Thursday going on right now at www.thrifty101.blogspot.com
Michelle @ Thrifty 101

AsylumTanya said...

I have used sandwich bags on my hands to apply self-tanner when gloves weren't available. Thanks for this great tutorial. I can't wait to try my own stripping! ;)

cookieandclaire said...

I am going to have to strip a piece that I am trying to turn into a kitchen for my little girl! I am glad you shared this. I am new follower and I found you through Thrifty 101. I would love a "follow back" if you have a chance.
Can't wait to see what else you have to share!

Katiebug said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katiebug said...

So what is the Diet Dr Pepper for?

Unknown said...

what happn whith the pepper and the pepsi?

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Unknown said...

Can you tell me, were you able to get all of the paint off before staining?
I'm currently in the process of striping white paint from a dresser that I would like to stain but the wood is a very light color underneath and I'm wondering what will happen to the look if I'm not able to get every speck of paint off first.