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Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Art of Stripping by Micaela R. Brancato

My introduction to stripping (furniture) began with the purchase of our dream home; the ideal country location, requiring multiple do-it-yourself projects. Although my husband did not seem as thrilled about my desire to try something new, he finally realized it was the best decision. After all, it was the only major project standing in the way of enjoying our summer. I wish I could report my first experience went smooth. Instead, I’m excited to share my lessons learned for when you get the stripping bug!

1) Be prepared for this project to take some time. Depending on item being stripped, there are several steps that may need repeating.

2) Prepping is very important. Do it right the first time, because you don’t want to stop midway to re-cover your flooring or wall paint. Supplies you will need: Stripping agent (gel or liquid), paint brushes, plastic putty knives, sandpaper, wood cleaner, painter’s tape, floor cover, new stain/paint.

3) When the directions say, ‘use a generous amount’ they are not joking. Don’t be afraid to goop it on. The thicker it is, the easier it is to remove. Otherwise, you might dislocate your wrist trying to chip it off.

4) Make sure your new stain/paint is the right color. After all that hard work, the last thing you want is to strip again. Test in an inconspicuous area or on a sheet of paper.

You might be thinking (as I was many times throughout this project), why didn’t I just hire this out or paint over the darn thing. I’m excited to report it turned out better than expected. After a little profanity and tears, I ended up feeling a huge sense of accomplishment and learned a lot. My goal was not to scare you off. In fact, the sooner you start stripping, the longer you’ll get to enjoy that item. In the end, a little muscle and hard work will add a new look, save you money, or extend the life of a sentimental item. Good luck and don’t be afraid to start stripping!

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