I remember the first piece of furniture I purchased at a yard sale to refinish. It was a small 1950’s highboy that I scored for $10. I slid it into the backseat of my car and couldn’t wait to get it home to test out my DIY skills. I had never refinished a piece of furniture, but I was pretty confident I could figure it out. We lived in a tiny apartment, so I lugged the dresser onto our porch and started to work. It had a dark finish on it, so I decided to sand it all off. Well, after about 2 hours of working with a palm sander, the finish was gone, my arms were vibrating and I was covered in dust. It was glorious and I was hooked. That dresser had five different looks while in my possession until I sold it a few years ago. (I couldn’t find a picture of it!)
When I decided to tackle refinishing a painted piece, I wasn’t fooling around. I bought a very ornately carved door with about 18 layers of paint and then bought some highly toxic chemical stripper to go with it. I had no idea what I was getting into and, to make the experience even worse, I started the project on a very hot day and worked outside in the intense summer sun, which dried the chemical stripper to a gloppy, crusty mess. It was a disaster and I chucked the door and swore never to strip paint again.
After about seven years, I broke down and decided to give it another try. This time I stripped only the top on a small table and worked with a water-based stripper in my cool basement.
Ah, there is a classic Miss Mustard Seed makeover from deep in the archives of my blog!
The decision to strip only the top was out of laziness, but has become a signature look for me. I’ve stripped dozens of pieces since this one, so I decided to do an updated video tutorial. In this video, I use a chemical stripper called Stripeeze from True Value that’s safe to use indoors and is biodegradable.
…part two (and the furniture reveal) coming soon!
By the way, I’m headed to Monument, Colorado next week for a book signing and some workshops! Check out my side bar for details. Hope to see some of you there.
I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.