Here's a do it yourself furniture restoration product. It's called the ready strip. It cost us $40 to buy it -- says it can safely remove paint and varnish. I don't really know what that means, but we'll still give it a shot.
Carl Pelphrey strips for a living, don't worry, we're talking furniture here. Since he's got 11 years experience, he should do this test. He pulled out two drawers; one with paint, one with old varnish. "Thought we would use the stripper on these two pieces to see what it does," said Carl.
With a liberal application, Carl got the product on both drawers in no time. We also noticed the smell was not overbearing like most. Now we have to wait for it to work.
"It's been about five and half hours," said Carl.
Carl used the sharp scrapper that came in the package to take off the paint. He scrubbed the surface and got off the white paint. However, we noticed green paint. This product is supposed to be so strong; it can remove up to five layers of paint. "You still have paint residue in the wood. You can't do natural wood finish if the paint pigment is left," advised Carl.
We moved to the drawer with the old varnish. All the varnish came off and after three washings. "That stripped real nice," said Carl.
The Ready Strip did not remove the paint in one application like it promised. But it did remove the old varnish down to the natural wood. Carl says, “Though, you can buy furniture strippers for half the price, but you'll have to inhale the strong fumes which we did not have to during this test.”