My mom and I just finished working on a bedroom set for a client. The pieces had a really thick paint, almost like plastic, that was obviously baked on at the factory. It was not simple to strip the top. The usual chemical striper didn’t even phase this stuff. We found a way to do it though…. a blow torch!
My mom very carefully held a blow torch to the top until the paint would bubble up. Then used a plastic spatula to scrape the paint off. We usually use plastic for these types of things, rather than metal, to avoid scratching or damaging the wood.
Even after all of that there was a bit of residue left behind, so the next step was lacquer thinner and steel wool. My mom scrubbed and scrubbed to loosen up anything that hadn’t already been removed. Finally a clean cloth soaked in lacquer thinner was used to wipe the piece clean.
We had to sand the top with 100 grit sandpaper to eliminate a few areas where my mom got overzealous with the torch and brunt the wood a bit. Followed by a lot of sanding with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out and make it perfect.
Last, but not least, the top was stained with a mixture of ebony and dark walnut Minwax stain. Our client wanted the base to have a hint of grey to it, so we used ebony stain to age the body and drawers that had previously been painted with a fresh coat of Swiss Coffee.
Orange County, CA
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My mom is a DIY kind of gal. When I was a kid I remember trips to thrift stores, strolling the hardware store isles, and of course spending hours feeling fabric at the yardage shop. She was constantly transforming bargain buys into treasures for our home. With a fresh coat of paint or a new slipcover, she gave old furniture new life. We have always enjoyed being creative together and in 2008 we turned our hobby and passion into a business.
Alchemy fine living is a creative business. We offer furniture painting services, upholstery, and custom slipcovers. We also sell a few hand crafted items on Etsy.
I'm Deana, the author of this blog. My mom, Connie, taught me from a young age how to spot a deal at a flea market or a thrift shop. She could always spot the hidden potential of an old, worn out piece of furniture. I learned to sew when I was four years old and all through the years I helped my mom with DIY projects around the house.
In 2008 she & I turned our hobby into a business. We re-do old furniture and hand craft items for sale in our Etsy store. For those who, like us, love to DIY we offer lots of tips and advice in our tutorial videos. We also offer furniture painting, upholstery, and sewing services for those who don't want to tackle the project themselves.