Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Ugly Truth about Refinishing Furniture

I follow many blogs of ladies that refinish, refurbish, and repurpose furniture. Many of them have a new item(s) weekly. I don't know how they do it. Week after week they produce masterpieces. Today I started the process of stripping the paint off the desk I bought at Goodwill two months ago for bedroom redo #3. I honestly don't know why I even bother to refinish furniture because stripping a piece of furniture, for me, is the worst job ever. Evvvverrrr. I can only hope the end result will make the effort worthwhile. Here's the little beast before I began the process. Now I know why she came partially stripped. This little floozy had far too much makeup on -- four layers of glopped on paint. Blue. White. Pink. Turquoise.

One thing made the job easier, however, so I would like to give credit to a wonderful product. It has been recommended on many blogs, and by golly for once I took a piece of advice. I'm so glad I did. When I refinished a chair earlier this year I used a gobbily gook stripper that dripped all over everything and made a disastrous mess. I hadn't ever refinished a piece of furniture, so I didn't know how awful it was.

Citristrip is a must-have product for stripping paint. It's thick and stays put. It smells "pleasantly" citrus-like. And, most important, it works. My guess is it's nuclear waste, so you best wear gloves. You just paint it on and whaaalaaa...

And if you wait longer...

Best makeup remover ever. Why that paint practically got up and walked away. Just kidding. I had to work like the devil. Lands sakes it was torture! Nobody ever shows pictures like this next one. Here's the ugly truth about refinishing furniture...

Yup, nasty stuff. Three hours later I had almost all the paint off the drawers and most off the dresser itself.

Hats off to you ladies who do this on a regular basis. I don't know how you do it. I'm so sore it may be another month before I get the rest of the paint off. Till later. I need good, long soak in the tub...

PS - Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that is burl wood. That was a nice surprise!

15 comments:

Katie said...

Did you try putting plastic wrap over it? I think I read once that if you can keep it wet, it will keep eating through the layers. So if you cover it with plastic, you can leave it on a lot longer.

Julie said...

You know that refinishing furniture is addicting??? It's true! You will have it in your blood now!!! LOL! Can't wait to see what this little sugar doll becomes!!!!!

The How-To Gal said...

It is a TON of hard work, but look at that beautiful piece you have under all that paint! THAT is what makes it worth it :) Can't wait to see the finished project!

Entre Nous said...

That is going to be one gorgeous piece, and I have filed away the name of the stripping product, the last on eI tried had far too many faults, the least of which was the toxic odor.

This really was a gem painted as well!

Lisa said...

I absolutely HATE stripping furniture. I've had to do it a few times and I put it right up there with the list of things I hate most, (including sanding and refinishing my own hardwood floors) Depending on how many layers of paint you have on there, if you are just repainting, dont bother stripping, give it a good smooth sanding, prime and paint away. Although it looks like you might be staining this piece? It's a beauty!

MiaKatia said...

Wow that really is gorgeous underneath all that paint! I can't wait to see it when you finish.

Becky said...

Too pretty to paint again. A nice stain would be just right for this piece. I will never understand why people paint over a beautiful piece of wood. Natural is so much prettier!

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

I hear you sister! Lookin' forward to seeing how this one turns out. Lots of details to take care of on this piece. I'm sure it will be gorgeous when you're done!

Jenni said...

Two questions. What the heck is burl wood? And how do you know what it is?

Tins and Treasures said...

Oh, I can't wait for summer. I have several projects in mind!
Take care ~Natalie

Room to Inspire said...

I am a fan of Citristrip as well - it works great and I really like that low odor. The wood looks beautiful underneath all of that paint!

Chelsea

Tina said...

Oh Suzanne, you sound so tired!! I know that all your hard work WILL be worth it in the end, just hang in there!! I love citri-strip:) Hope you got to enjoy that long bath, you deserved it!! Wishing you a wonderful weekend ~ Tina x

Shaunna said...

Ha! I loved this! As someone who just spent 10 hours yesterday sanding, scrubbing, and painting, I can relate. But don't worry, they're not all covered in four layers of paint! :) And, that is an amazing piece...let me know when you finish. Can't wait to see it! -shaunna :)

Wendy said...

I have no tips, but I love that desk! What awesome details/

Green Willow Pond said...

I feel your pain...literally! I am in the middle of a huge stripping job that may kill me before it's all through. I am going to repaint my piece, because it's not nice underneath like yours. But there were at least 3 or 4 layers of paint on mine, and it was just to gunky to paint over it all. I tried a couple of strippers, but haven't used the citristrip yet. If I eeeever strip anything again, maybe I'll try it. Can't wait to see your finished desk!