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To repaint furniture or give it a raw and aged appearance, stripping is often an essential step. And there is no shortage of techniques to remove layers of paint from a piece of furniture! Manual or chemical stripping, necessary material, preparation of the furniture upstream ... We give you all our advice to strip a piece of furniture without damaging it!
1. Prepare your furniture
Before you start stripping your furniture, you need to prepare it. Remove all the elements: drawers, doors, handles and knobs, hinges and other decorations. Do not forget the screws and nails that you can protect with adhesive tape in case you cannot remove them. In the same way, if your furniture contains ironwork areas or any other fragile ornament, consider protecting them. Clean your furniture with a damp cloth to remove dust. Finally, settle in a ventilated place outside if possible. If you are indoors, protect the floor with a large plastic sheet and avoid being in direct contact with the stripper. For this, you can wear safety glasses, a mask and gloves. Since old paints can contain lead and strippers are dangerous, prevention is better than cure! Last thing to know before getting started: if your furniture is waxed, use a stripper and not a stripper. Not sure about the finish of your furniture? Take a cloth lightly dampened with methylated spirits and gently rub a corner of the furniture. If the cloth becomes colored, it is because your furniture is waxed.
2. Chemical pickling
Chemical pickling is probably the most efficient and quickest. But it has a drawback and not least: it releases toxic pollutants! It is for this reason that we recommend that you favor biodegradable stripper products available in supermarkets. In all cases, prefer a gel stripper that is easier to handle than a liquid stripper. Apply the product on your furniture and leave to act. Refer to the instructions for the waiting time. Then, remove the paint by scraping using a spatula ideally, a scraper or with steel wool (handle with care to avoid scratches). Rinse with water (be careful some wood species do not support humidity) and voila! If traces of paint persist, iron a coat of stripper and repeat the operation.
3. Manual stripping
Admittedly, it is not the quickest solution but it is the healthiest and most ecological. In practice, several techniques are possible for pickling furniture manually. You can use an electric sander for most of the work and finish with sandpaper. If you intend to strip everything using sandpaper, start with coarse-grained paper and finish with fine-grained sheets. You can also choose to use a scraper (a large blade width to save time) and a triangular or molded scraper for the grooves, corners and small surfaces of the furniture. For the rest, you know what you have to do: scratch! Good to know: always work in the direction of the grain of the wood so as not to damage it!