When applying a new finish to wood furniture, it is first necessary to completely strip away old paint or stains. Due to the chemicals involved in this process, the stripping process is one which requires timely action, decisiveness, caution, and great attention to preparation and detail. The stripping process isn't quite as simple as spread the stripper and scrape it with a tool, unless you wish to irreparably damage the piece. Our multi-step process has been fine-tuned through years of experience and is meant to ensure that your item is returned to you looking and feeling brand new.
Stripping the wood properly will result in a surface that once refinished looks uniform, complete, and beautiful. Improperly stripping the wood can damage the wood's integrity, alter the coloration or grain, or leave residues that are difficult to remove. At Littlefield & Sons, we go a long way to make sure that your prized heirloom or antique furniture retains all the qualities that made it beautiful.
We understand that our CLIENTS have options.
But they come to Littlefield & Sons because of the respect they and their item is shown from the moment they come into contact with us.
Getting to work
- We begin by applying the stripper with a brush, working methodically from the top down to ensure an even application. We make sure that the piece we are working on is on top of a cloth or newspaper bedding in order to contain loose droplets.
- We let it sit! Patience is a critical frame of mind required to restore timeless items. Stripper generally requires 5-10 minutes to do its work, although this can vary.
- Using a scraping tool or wide-bladed putty knife, we scrape off the old finish and clean the blade between each scrape. Occasionally we have to reapply stripper and scrape more than once in order to remove the majority of the old finish.
- Once we've finished stripping, we go over it with fine-grained steel wool to ensure any residual finish or stripper is cleaned out of detailed portions of the piece. If necessary we use a wire brush to really dig in deep.
- Towards the end of the process, we need to clean off the piece with mineral spirits. If we don't remove all the stripper, the new finish won't adhere well. We wash down the piece with a rag and sometimes find areas where some of the old finish is still intact, in which case we repeat the process.
- Last, we sand it smooth to remove the last bits of finish, resulting in a finished product that is ready for the next step it its restoration.