Hand Stripping Furniture

Directions for HAND Stripping.

Work with loads of ventilation, safety goggles or glases, and skin protection. Stay out of the direct sun and stay protected from wind or strong drafts if working outside.

Work in tiny areas starting at the top and working into the bottom of the piece. Apply a generous coat of gel remover. Brush in 1 direction. Don’t brush back and forth.

Use soft wood scrapers or Steel Wool to remove crinkled finish and spent stripper.Repeat the above process until all layers of old finish are gone. On fine work, once the item has all of the finish gone and looks ready to refinish, go over it again with one final coat of stripper carefully working from top to bottom and removing stripper with Liberon #00 steel wool to ensure all traces of finish are lifted from the pores of the timber. Neutralize the wood surface by washing the piece down with Naphtha followed by Lacquer Thinner, if the piece is newer and in very good condition, a washdown with Lacquer Thinner may suffice.

Let the stripped piece dry thoroughly for 24 hours to 48 hours for softer woods or pieces that required long soaking to clean off all of the finish. Refinish promptly to seal and protect from humidity changes and environmental contamination.


Test to determine if a through cleaning with Liberon’s Wood Cleaner & Wax remover might eliminate the need to totally strip and refinish the piece.

Use the ideal stripper for the finish. (Determine finish type with solvents.)

Use solvent washable strippers or paint removers.

Avoid water washable removers to minimize grain raising, staining problems, and softening of glues or adhesives and the subsequent lifting of veneers and loosening of joinery.

Avoid Metal Scrapers of any sort, wood fibers softened from the remover are easily compressed by hard metal edges. These sometimes apparently invisible ‘indents’ can later show up after staining or even under clear coat finishes.

DO NOT Sand a stripped surface. Sanding removes oxidized fibres, the natural distressing wear and ageing collectors refer to as patina. Upon refinishing uneven and splotchy effects result from the ‘chimney’ sanded into the surface. Often sanded areas of stripped wood won’t take stain or finish just like the unsanded part of the identical piece. For example, sanding of a table leaf usually means sanding the whole top and remaining leaves. The surface has been carefully prepared for the previous end. Successful refinishing will be much easier if we disturb the wood the very least possible, in the finish removal procedure. When an area is badly damaged as to require sanding; proceed with caution and know about the increased finish work which may be created by sanding. Lightly raised grain can in some cases be stained, sealed with sanding sealer, and then sanded instead of sanding on the bare wood.

Partially strip (on Lacquers): On some pieces a top for example might be all that really has to be stripped and totally refinished. Appropriate cleaning and touch-up of dings, dents, and blemishes on sides or underpinnings with an overfinish of the present finish might give a very professional outcome. In the ideal instance this can be a more profitable for the finisher and offer an affordable alternative for the customer.

Use wax paper laid over the remover to slow evaporation and prolong working time. On difficult finishes and in drafty work areas each application of remover can then do more work.

To lift paint or finish retained in the grain of open pored timber, despite repeated applications of remover, try the next. Allow the surface dry for a day, apply a liberal coat of 1 pound cut shellac & and allow to dry throughly then try a coat of remover to lift the shellac and the adhered finish out of the pores. The wax paper trick above helps here too. On hard cases repeat the shellac and remover steps above if positive results come from the program.


Stripped surfaces are always a bit more problematic than finishing on new wood. Generally Pigment Wiping Stains are the best option for coloring on the stripped surface. Lacquer shading stains and lacquer colorants blended into sanding sealer and build coats are a fantastic bet for color correcting. Use amber lacquer on medium to darker woods or stains to provide a richer and homogeneous continuity to the piece. On very light timber and on light colors use water -white lacquer or for the very clearest non-yellowing complete use CAB-Acrylic lacquer.



Always test products in an inconspicuous place to check compatibility and end results.

Companion Materials & Supplies:

Safety Glasses or face shield for eye protection.

Heavy duty rubber stripping gloves.

Apron; preferably rubber or rubber coated.

WOODEN scrapers (NOT putty knives or metal scrapers)

Stripping BRUSH: stripper resistant plastic for getting into carvings and mouldig.


#1 or #1 for light clear finishes, #1 or #2 for paints, &

#3 or #4 for very heavy built up layers of finish.



Don’t leave impregnated rags wadded or stacked in bundles as these can burst into spontaneous fire.

Dispose of rags and waste in compliance with regulations; or lay rags out flat preferably outside, to dry in order to prevent any fire hazard. For further details about sealent, visit http://flexreviews.org.

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