When stripping a piece of wooden furniture, first remove old buildup with a wire brush and air compressor, then, apply a paint thinner or remove with steel wool. Learn about safety precautions when stripping wood furniture, such as wearing gloves, safety glasses and respirator, in this free video from an award-winning woodworker on basic carpentry.
Now I'm about to demonstrate how to strip a finish off of a piece of furniture. It's a bit echoey in here, but that's because we're in the spray room, which sucks all the air towards this filter, keeping all the dust, the particles of paint thinner and paint, any kind of floating materials that can be in the air, going in one direction to keep the dust off the piece and to keep it safe in the room, to breathe. Other precautions are, a respirator, gloves, and safety glasses. The things we'll be using to do this process are paint thinner, paint remover, a wire brush, steel wool, sandpaper, and some rags. This piece of furniture has flaking finish. In places it's completely worn out. In other places you have dirty build-up. We're going to remove all that. The first thing we'll attack is the flaky paint, 'cause that's the loosest, and the easiest thing to remove. We'll do that using a wire brush, being careful not to mar up the wood. When you're using a wire brush of any sort on anything flaky, it's best to wear safety glasses and a respirator. Once you've used your wire brush to remove any loose paint, then it's time to go to the next step. What we'll go to next is these areas where the stain is still fairly well-attached, but it's worn away in the surrounding area. This will be the next easiest thing to remove. After you're done wire brushing the chair, use some compressed air to blow any dust off of the chair. The next step is to remove any actual build-up that's not able to be removed with the wire brush. We're going to be using two things. We're start using paint thinner, and then if we need something stronger, we'll use some of this paint remover. I just tried using paint thinner with a rag. That didn't seem to be enough, so I stepped it up to the steel wool. That also doesn't seem to be enough, so now I'm going to try using this paint remover, which is a much stronger solvent. If there seem to be areas that the paint remover and the paint thinner both will not remove due to deeper staining, then you might need to take..get a little more aggressive and use something like a cabinet scraper to scrape back areas. And then, reveal a little more fresh wood. For demonstration purposes, I'm going to go ahead and stop here, but when you're working on yours at home, just keep doing the same process all over the entire chair until you get results that seem to appear to be like this.