In my last post, I confessed that I am a Jane Austen fan girl.
Well, today, I’m confessing that I’m also a Miss Mustard Seed fangirl.
Specifically, I love her signature two toned furniture look – painted base with a stained top. It makes my heart sing.
The stained wood adds some masculinity to antique pieces that may otherwise look quite feminine when painted. And since I live in a house of men, well…
I painted the base and refinished the top of this two-toned table for my antique booth, and it was so beautiful in real life.
And the infamous bookshelf dresser also had a stained top and painted base.
But if the top is already painted, stripping it can be a pain in the patootie. So I generally try to avoid it.
I have, over time, however, tried stripping a few painted pieces. And through trial and error, I’ve learned a few lessons that make the process go a bit more smoothly. So when I decided to take this old nightstand…
and redo it with a stained top and painted base on this old nightstand…
I took a few pictures of the process.
Tips for Stripping Painted Wood
Use the right supplies. I like to have the following on hand when stripping wood:
- CitriStrip Stripping Gel
- plastic wrap (I’ll explain later)
- spray bottle
- rubber gloves
- old toothbrush
- old paintbrush
- putty knife
- old socks
- trash bag/can/box
When all of your materials are ready, apply a thick layer of the stripping gel to the surface you want to strip. Do NOT use a foam brush. It WILL disintegrate because of the stripping gel.
Cover the surface with plastic wrap. The stripping gel only works while it’s wet. The plastic wrap keeps it wet longer, allowing it to break up multiple layers of paint. Doing it this way will seriously cut down on the amount of stripping gel and time needed to get the paint off.
After a few minutes, you can wad up the plastic wrap and use it as a rag to wipe off the paint!
At this point, break out the scraper. Wrapping the end with the old sock, scrape the remaining paint, moving in the same direction as the grain.
Repeat the process if needed, using the toothbrush to get into smaller areas. Try using the water bottle to spray stubborn spots and scrub the paint.
When all the paint is gone, wash the stripping gel residue off the piece, and stain to finish!
Here’s the full before and after (feel free to pin it so you can find this tutorial again when you need it!)