Sunday, August 25, 2013

Using Citristrip on Painted Furniture

Removing the paint off of a poorly painted piece of furniture can be a bit intimidating.  But who am I to turn down a challenge right? When someone hands you a FREE piece of furniture, you nab it! At least that's my motto :) Isn't it yours? 

Meet George. He's friendly, despite his appearance, I promise.

I was given this dresser from a good friend of mine who desperately need to get it out of her basement due to some construction they were just about to start.  I snatched it up quickly because, well, I have a thing for unwanted messes.  This dresser was pretty hideous.  Awful decals, terrible paint, and a whole lot of cracks going on.  But still, he was mine!

 To Mr. Serene's dismay, I brought George home and stuffed him quietly in the garage.  In case your wondering, yes, I name my furniture and I thought George was fitting due to his jungle themed awfulness.  This weekend I finally got around to stripping that baby down and seeing what I had to work with. 
I used a product called Citristrip because I had read great reviews like here and here where it had done wonders to remove old, nasty paint jobs.  It's completely safe for indoor use- which is helpful whens it's 97 degrees outside. And it actually has a nice smell to it, like oranges.  

All you need for this type of job is:

  • Citristrip
  • plastice putty knives
  • plastic gloves
  • paper (to lay your piece on, you don't want it on your floor!)
  • a metal bucket (to pour your citristrip in)
  • a cheap paint brush

I spread the gel stripper onto the dresser and let it sit for 30 minutes. It didn't take long for it to bubble right up.  Using a plastic scraper, I was able to scrape the entire dresser (drawers included) in less than 30 minutes. That's my kind of timeline!  I have three kids, remember?  If I can't hammer something out in 30 minutes or less, I've got kids all up in my business.

I applied another layer of Citristrip just to make sure that I could pull up as much stain as I could and really get the paint out of the crevices.  Once that layer was scraped, I used a denatured alcohol and steel wool to remove the remaining gunk from George.  

George is really looking hot these days, all stripped down to his skivvies. 

Next up, George is getting some new duds to wear.  I'm thinking Bedford Gray with this type of hardware?
 Thoughts anyone? 


  1. I like the paint color and hardware idea. It will look great. I think I'm going to try to redo a dresser I have. We'll see how it turns out :)

  2. Awesome Alyssa! I would love to see the dresser when you decide to give it a try!

  3. Nice! I'm thinking of using Citristrip for a project and love your photos! Thanks!