Refinishing old furniture can be very rewarding, but it can also be quite a mess. Here are a few tips to simplify the task.

  • To remove chemical stripper and finish without gouging the wood use a plastic putty knife with rounded edges or an old plastic kitchen spatula.
  • For round furniture legs on a chair or table, a five-in-one painters tool works well to scrape off the finish. The radius cut in the tool for cleaning rollers is just the right size for many furniture legs.
  • Add wood shavings to the surface after you apply the stripper. The shavings will absorb the sludge of dissolved finish so scraping is less messy.
  • Set the legs of the piece on aluminum pie pans to catch any stripper and sludge that runs down.
Editorial Contributors
avatar for Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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