Super handyman: Tips for stripping furniture
News from Chicago Daily Herald:

A bad finish can make a beautiful project look awful. Sometimes you need to strip the old finish off a treasured piece to expose its inner beauty. We have some tips about stripping furniture to help you do the job right and with as little mess as possible.

Before working on older painted surfaces, test for lead so that you know what you are dealing with. Lead test kits are available at home centers and paint stores.

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Also keep in mind that older pieces of furniture are more delicate, and the wood and hardware can be easily damaged, so make sure to be careful, especially if you have antiques. Don’t take away the value — add to it.

Today we have gentle strippers made with orange oil, and they are safer to use and actually do a pretty good job of removing layers of thick paint. If you need to use the heavy-duty strippers, be cautious and wear eye protection and gloves.

Set your project on a dropcloth. If it’s small, set the piece on a dropcloth on top of a table or stand of some kind. It will be easier on your back.

Always make sure you have a dust-free room and plenty of light.

For getting all of the paint out of cracks and crevices, use tools like an ice pick, awl, toothpicks, wire, dental floss, an emery board, Q-tips or anything else you need to get the job done……………. continues on Chicago Daily Herald

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