Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Just a bit more... and stripping

Good grief, stripping wood you dirty minded soul.

This is probably the last post on our dining room renovation. At least for awhile.

I had an idea to simplify the areas on either side of our buffet and went on the hunt for antique doors. Did you know how much money some people charge for a pair of doors. YIKES! I came across this pair below on Kijiji and they were just what I had in mind and had the original track hardware on the top. They had many years of varnish and stain that needed to be redone or removed. I went with removed.

I used Citrstrip for this project which is a safer stripper with less chemicals and a less offensive smell. I had used it on the doors of our china cabinet and didn't have many problems. It took the varnish off and wasn't terribly hard to scrape.

Let me tell you though, the doors on the china cabinet were nothing compared to this pair of doors. The Citristip worked great to remove the stain and varnish however, because of the sheer amount of layers of varnish it became a huge sticky mess.

All those positive blog posts and information pages do not tell you that Citristip does not dry up to scrape like the regular furniture stripper. I went through 3 scrapers, 2 full packages of steel wool and a full bottle of mineral spirits.
I even harranged my poor husband into helping scrape after awhile. I spent 20 minutes letting the stripper do its work and 4 hours getting the goo off the doors.

I can see the benefit of using this product for small layers of paint and to be able to use it indoors if need be but I have figured out I am a chemical stripper kind of girl.

I love how the doors turned out and the warm colour they add to the room. It also worked out perfectly that the colour tone matches the table we found.

To do this decor reno we needed wanted a larger farmhouse style table and after looking in all the expected places, we came across an amazing harvest table in a local antique store. The only problem is the previous owner had refinished the top in that awful orangey stain with a shine that needed sunglasses because of reflection.

I went back to my chemical stripper for this project. Loaded on the protective attractive eyewear, rubber gloves and yucky clothes and went to town on the top.

Worked like a dream. It just crumbles off and I didn't have to throw out my scrapers this time. Trevor went a little bananas in one area and it came out dried and streaky. I found a product to try and revive the wood at Homesense called Howard's Feed N Wax.
You just rub it on, let it sit for 20 minutes and then buff it out. Worked like a dream and brought the wood back to life without a heavy shine.

You can see the wood grain beautifully and this table has worked out perfectly. It was a bugger getting it into the house. A one piece table takes a little bit of fanangling to slide it through doorways.

The base was left as is and the harvest drawer in the center got a new milk glass knob. There were jokes bandied around about the drawer being a great place to put the food you don't like. Grrr.

Have you had any weird experiences with Citristrip or is it just me?

Have a great day,



  1. I just love your dining room! Come to Tennessee and decorate my space! I would love to find a great rustic dining room table much like yours!!

  2. Meg, your dining room is incredible and one of my all-time favorite rooms. The hard work behind all these gorgeous finishes really paid off, and you must be so proud. Your room is interesting and unique and all you. I just LOVE everything about it!

    1. Thank you so much Laurel. It is so much of me in this room and we love it.

  3. Your dining room is beautiful. Love it all. What stripper did you end up using that crumbles off? I read a post on some blog that suggested covering the item with Citri-strip and then covering the item with a plastic bag and let sit overnight.

    1. We used the regular Circa furniture stripper. It doesn't stay super wet like the Citristrip so it scrapes right off into a nice pile on the floor.
      Thank you for visiting.

  4. Hi there!! I just wanted to let you know that I nominated your blog for the Leibster Award! You can read the post here.

    *I am also a new follower of yours* .. Follow back if you'd like :)
    Jordann @ J House Tawk

    1. Hi Jordann and thank you for becoming a new follower. Although I am honoured you thought to nominate me for this award, I have an award free button in my sidebar and the reasons for that can be found here:
      Thank you again.

  5. I spent weeks (months) stripping lacquer or varnish off my china cabinet with citristrip. I'm totally with you on the gooky sticky globby crap that results. We used 3 bottles plus 3 spray cans getting everything done. It was winter, in a basement, when we started and we didn't want to do the chemical thing. I found that the spray worked much better with the varnish than the regular citristrip. I probably used 2 packages of steel wool, 6 wire brushes and 2 quarts of mineral spirits. Can you say stripping hell? The sad thing was that I decided early in the stripping process I wanted to paint it which wouldn't have required stripping. Once the goo got started though I had to do the follow through. Your doors are amazing by the way! The whole dining room looks great.


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