Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's Been a While...

Hi loyal readers, we apologize for the lack of posts recently! Truth is, we've been very busy with several new projects. We're so excited we forgot to blog. Can you forgive us?

Recently we decided to tackle a project that involved stripping the varnish off of a wooden piece so we could restore it. Most stripping agents are highly toxic and really need to be used outside, which has been tough with all the rain we've had. Nick & I agreed that it'd be best to try something safe and non-toxic that we could use indoors. We went with 3M's "Safest Stripper Paint and Varnish Remover"

It sounded perfect: "3M™ Safest Stripper™ is a non-toxic alternative to caustic paint and varnish removers. Powerful enough to strip virtually any finish. Biodegradable, wash down the drain. No strong fumes or methylene chloride. Requires no gloves. Use indoors."

However, we give it the thumbs down :( It sort of worked. Some varnish came off in streaky patterns, leaving us with a lot more work to do. The good news is, it didn't damage the wood, but it didn't quite do the job we were hoping it would.

So here's our question for you... Have you ever tackled a project like this and if so, what product did you use? Have you found a non-toxic varnish/paint stripper that works as well as its poisonous cousins? We've heard a few good things about Citistrip Safer Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel and that it actually smells like oranges! This might be the next product we try.

Any recommendations? Please leave a comment or shoot us an email!


  1. Hi! I've used the citristrip - it's not too bad, but you ahve to neutralize it with their stage2 product or it will really mess up your wood. I refinished my g-fathers old dresser in my carpeted lr when living in a 1br apt. I put each leg in a 1 qt ice cream container with an old sheet & lots of newspaper under the rest of the dresser - turned out great & gave life to an old piece.

  2. Thanks for the input! I love the idea of redoing a wooden piece of furniture in a one bedroom apartment :) Who knew it could be done! I think we'll give Citistrip a go next time around.

  3. I've heard good things about Soy-Gel paint remover, but have never used it myself.