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Should I sand or use paint stripper to restore furniture?

Missskybird
Junior Contributor

Should I sand or use paint stripper to restore furniture?

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Showing results for I made the decision to strip the varnish and colour from our bedroom furniture ( two bedside tables and a dresser). I started on the first bedside table and had no trouble scraping the top and edges with my Ozito Orbital Sander and Detail Sander. I then had the bright idea of using paint / varnish stripper. Very unwisely I found a tin of Selleys Stripper that is piled up for collection, not very smart, heaven knows how old it was. I had to pierce the can to open it. My first error was coating the front of the drawers as well as one side of the dresser. I waited the recommended 60 minutes and what an unholy and horrible mess I created. It did not strip off much but just turned into sticky sludge. I scraped off what I could but now I have a problem sanding it as even after hours it is still tacky. Should I buy a new can and apply it to single pieces at a time or pursue with the laborious sanding 🤦‍♀️.

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Sanding or Paint Stripper?

Hello @Missskybird

 

Thank you so much for sharing your current upcycle project. I'm sorry to hear that you had a run-in with some old paint stripper which has now turned to sludge on your furniture. If you still have the old can, it should have a recommended neutraliser printed on the back. Generally, the most common one used is Diggers Mineral Turpentine - 1L. It dissolves the bonds of the paint stripper and allows you to wipe it off, you'll have to do a combination of scraper and turpentine wipe to completely remove the leftover paint stripper. 

 

Once you've removed all the paint stripper make sure to air out the panels in full sun so that all the turpentine evaporates. You can start sanding those pieces again to your desired finish. You've made excellent progress and the cabinets look great.  

 

Please keep us updated with your progress, we look forward to seeing the big reveal of your upcycled furniture.

 

If you need further assistance, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

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Missskybird
Junior Contributor

Re: Sanding or Paint Stripper?

Hi Eric

I’m making progress and have one bedside table, stripped, sanded and any scratches etc repaired.

I have started the second one and hope to have that ready by the weekend to get them both painted.

The dresser is the big job but I am getting more proficient as I go. I’m picking up an Ozito Orbital tomorrow to do some fine sanding on the edges.

I will let you know my progress 😊

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Sanding or Paint Stripper?

Great work, @Missskybird! Your project is coming along nicely.

 

So that you know, paint and varnish strippers can be pretty troublesome and icky to work with at the best of times. I only ever use them if it's completely necessary. Otherwise, I stick to putting more hours into sanding. 

 

It sounds like you might be going for a clear finish on these units, but if you're ever upcycling and are going to paint the unit, try Dulux PRECISION Maximum strength Primer. It allows you to paint over glossy coatings without sanding. I used some in this step-by-step guide on How to upcycle a bedside cabinet.

 

I'll be looking forward to seeing your finished results.

 

Mitchell

 

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