ANYWAY, the dining room reveal will have to be back-burnered for awhile. In the meantime, I have been working on smaller projects.
The latest is this buffet I bought from a couple who hawk mcm stuff in the triangle via a very active Instagram and Craigslist business. I have bought and been disappointed by them before, but they're nice people and I dunno. I saw this dresser and thought: What could go wrong? It looked fine.
I couldn't live with it.
So this morning I went to the hardware and dollar stores for supplies and proceeded to strip the piece. It took a couple of hours and a lot of elbow grease thanks to the nooks and crannies and grooves. Luckily, the horrible covering came up pretty easily. Here are the products I used:
And here is my advice for the novice furniture stripper:
1. Work outside.
2. Even though it's not very eco friendly, use cheap tools you can throw away. (Drop cloth, paint brush, etc. Dollar store that shit.) Don't bother with trying to clean those things. It's not worth it.
3. Use real chemical stripper, not that "green" non-toxic water-soluble stuff. UNLESS you need to work inside for some reason, in which case, maybe Citristrip or whatever is worth it. The hardcore stuff just works way better, though. I once tried to strip an old door with the orange stuff and it was a nightmare. I had to give up.
4. Follow the instructions on whatever product you choose, but also use your head. My chemical stripper's instructions said to lay it on, then go away for 15 minutes and let it work. This was a bad idea. In the NC heat, the stripper dried almost immediately and it has to stay wet if you want to scrape it off. What worked for me was to lay it on, wait ONE minute, then scrape it off. Any longer and it was way less effective. Any tough patches I went over a second time.
5. Wear gloves and fully cover your body. Do not let the stripping product touch your skin. It will burn you.
6. Expect much elbow grease to be required. Expect to sweat.
SO, HELP. Should I paint the drawer and cupboard fronts and oils/restore the case? Or leave it as is/just reveal the wood? I can't decide. I don't mind painted furniture, but after the time and effort I just spent stripping this piece, it feels sacrilegious to put paint on it. BUT IT DOESN'T LOOK RIGHT FOR THE ROOM. BLAH. Help me, I beg of you, Internets. What would YOU do?
(BTW, I am leaning toward leaving the case wood and just painting the drawer fronts.)