This Simple, Step by Step Tutorial Will Show You How I Transformed This Painted, Pink Dresser by the Stripping Paint and Stain off and Restoring the Wood Underneath
Let’s say you have or have acquired a piece of furniture that you love; it’s the perfect size, shape, and height for that bare space in your home, you love it.
Buuuuuuuuuuut, there’s just one problem: you hate the color or the finish.
This happened to me about 3 weeks ago. I was shopping at Goodwill and I saw the cutest little pink dresser. Thrifting is often where I turn for furnishing our home, like in planning for our office built ins.
Upon further inspection, I could see that it was a solid wood piece under all that paint and just needed a little some help to be pretty again. I snatched the tag and ran with my $30 to the register.
When I got it home, I knew I couldn’t sand the paint off, so enter CITRISTRIP. I’ll use this to start stripping the paint and stain off of the piece.
The First Thing I Did Was Clean My Dresser and Get Supplies to Prepare for Stripping Paint and Stain
Even though I was going to be stripping the paint and stain off of this dresser, and therefore, the dirt along with it, I always clean my thrifted pieces first thing. For wood pieces, I use warm water, vinegar, and a clean cloth. Take another clean cloth with just water and wipe down before drying with another clean cloth.
- Chip Brushes
- Plastic Wrap
- Scraping tool (putty knife works great)
- Eye Protection and Mask (if indoors)
- Mineral Spirits
- Scrub Brush
- Steel Wool
- Stain of Choice
- Something to protect the wood (I used Tung Oil).
Once clean, it was time to add the CITRISTRIP. To do this, I used a chip brush to apply the stripper. This stuff is very orange and very thick. I applied this all over the top of the dresser, the more the better.
Please use extreme caution when using a chemical stripper. Work outside or in a well ventilated area indoors. I had fans blowing and an open garage door to let in fresh air. The Citri-strip is not nearly as fumey as other chemical paint strippers, but still use gloves, eye protection, and a mask if indoors.
Use Saran Wrap Over The Paint Stripper when Stripping Paint and Stain from Your Furniture
When I was researching this project, almost every tutorial used Saran Wrap over top of the Citri-strip once applied.
I applied the stripper with a chip brush and then covered with Saran Wrap. The Citri-strip has to sit on the area for at least 30 minutes, but I found that the longer I left it to do its thing, the better. Then I came back and to check the progress.
After about 40mins to an hour, there was visible bubbling under the saran wrap. When I peeled it back, some of the paint peeled with it and stuck to the saran wrap.
These are both signs that the stripper has done its job and you can now scrape the paint off. I took a plastic putty knife so I didn’t scratch the wood, and scraped off the layers of paint and stain.
I started on the top and worked my way around is small sections i.e. the top, the drawers, the sides, etc, until the dresser was done.
Mineral Spirits, Steel Wool and Lots of Latex Gloves Are Your Friend When Cleaning Stripped Furniture
After I had the dresser all stripped as much paint and stain as I could, I started using mineral spirits and Steel wool. I say lots of pairs of gloves because that is exactly what I used. I would soak my steel wool in mineral spirits and scrub a section really good to get off as much paint and stain as I could.
This is very important because when sanding the dresser, it can slow up your orbital sander. Often times, after I scrubbed a section, I would find my gloves had a hole in one of the fingers.
I suggest keeping a box and a trashcan handy for this part. It is MESSY, but so worth the end result.
Now, We Sand After Stripping the Paint and Stain!
I wasn’t going to paint this dresser, I wanted to leave the wood raw and exposed. I probably wouldn’t have gone to all this trouble if I had just wanted to paint it. So my next task was to sand the dresser well.
This dresser had some unique details that were hard to sand with my orbital sander. I was able to sand those areas by hand with a small hand sander. You could use a dremel tool, ryobi makes a great one.
Finally, I Decided on My Stain and Hardware
I redid a chair a couple of months ago, check that out on my instagram, where I used antiquing glaze on the raw wood. This look is so gorgeous, I just love how it gave the wood a weather and aged feel. I decided to do this same technique here. I used it like a stain with a clean cloth and rubbed it all over the dresser and the drawers. To finish, I sealed it with some tung oil. I had on hand to make the finish really shine.
I am absolutely obsessed with antique brass finishes, so I decided to use this as a common theme throughout my bedroom, where this dresser was going. I ordered some hardware off of amazon in a cup style that I love. The antique brass looks really beautiful against the wood, definitely an upgrade from the pink dresser we started with.
And that’s it! I love how this project turned out; it is exactly what I wanted for this alcove in my bedroom. What do you guy think?
Let me know if y’all have any questions, and drop them in the comments below! Thanks so much for stopping by!