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Up-cycling Old Furniture-A Beginners Guide Part 1- Stripping

By on October 8, 2011 in Homeowner Resources with 0 Comments
 As a result of the myriad of home makeover, D.I.Y, lifestyle and design shows on digital TV these days a new word has become fashionable… up-cycling. What this means, in terms we can all understand is taking an old, worn out piece of furniture or ornament and restoring it to suit your current interior decor and colour scheme.

I describe the furniture that I produce and sell as reconditioned. I think you will agree that the condition of the pieces shown here as been greatly improved.

The process gone through for each piece is different but to start with what you want is a blank canvas, so good cleaning and sanding are vital. Often with old furniture layers and layers of stain, varnish, wax, lacquer and other products have been applied. To speed up the removal process I often use a paint and varnish stripper. For most jobs Nitromors will do a great job but remember to protect your hands with gloves and only use in a well ventilated area, its strong stuff.



Depending on what you are stripping, below are a selection of tools that you may need in order to get into those hard to reach places. Use a 4″ scraper for large area and whichever tool seems best for corners edges and hard to reach areas.





Long arm heavy duty scraper- For removing material from large areas such as table tops. Be careful not to gouge damage the wood as they can be very sharp. I often use this tool by pulling it back towards me to avoid this.



Large paint scraper- Again for large areas. A more manageable tool, less sharp.



5 in 1- A multi-angled tool very useful for intricate and rounded areas such as chair and table legs.



Shave Hooks- Again for small, hard to reach area. These two are the most common but they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes depending on the job in hand.



In the picture above I got lucky, this is what it looked like on the day I bought it. This is what you want, all the previous coatings removed. You will not need to get to this stage before sanding but somewhere close would be a good start.


In the next part of this basic guide we will talk about sanding, in many ways the most important stage. If you have any question feel free to contact me by leaving a comment, email, facebook or twitter @josephandson.


Happy Painting



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