Tools and Materials

You will need the following materials to strip a piece of furniture: two wide-mouthed cans; a wide bladed paint scraper; a 3- or 4-inch paint brush or a cloth pad; toweling burlap or steel wool; an awl or other sharp pointed tool; and sandpaper of graduated grades.

A Word about Scrapers Scrapers are flat steel blades with handles. Scraper

Square corners on a scraper have a tendency to dig into wood softened by a paint stripper Round corners prevent unsightly gouges

Before stripping furniture, make a scraper that minimizes gouging. Buy a standard paint scraper and grind the corners round with a grinding wheel

The stripper is laid on with a brush in a thick layer, and allowed to stand for pe[haps 15 minutes. The material will cause the paint to blister and wrinkle.

After the stripper has worked on a layer, and after scraping, use steel wool to remove the paint and break up the next layer.

Slowly the old paint comes off. Under the white, there is a light brown and a darker brown coat, which are difficult to see here blades are stiff, while spatula and other applicator blades are very flexible. Other than that, these look alike. The best blade for scraping is wide. We have found 4-inch blades to be the easiest to handle. You may want a second 1 -inch scraper for smaller areas such as legs. We have also found that the outer corners of scraper blades are sharp points. When the stripping chemical softens the finish, it also softens the wood under it slightly. It is very easy, when scraping up the sludge, to dig into the surface of the wood w ith the scraper and make cuts you must repair later.

To avoid this, we use a grinding wheel to grind the very sharp Corners down, rounding them slightly. The rounded corners won't gouge the wood surface. They also won't get into corners quite as well for scraping. So we grind the corners of the large scraper only, and leave the corners of the smaller scraper sharp.

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