One Room Challenge Week 2: Stripping the Bed

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Man week two of the One Room Challenge snuck up on me! This has been one of the slower moving projects I’ve ever done, but I think the payout is going to be rich. This bed’s beauty is coming alive as I strip off the old finish and reveal the gorgeous details.

I started here. The headboard is missing finials, has black painted posts, and a chipped and scratched brown stained center section.  To address the black painted post I started with brushing on CitriStrip gel. Then I wrapped them in plastic wrap to sit overnight.  Next I used a new favorite product, this Watco Refinisher. This is strong stuff so heavy duty gloves are a necessity, and you will need fine steel wool to help scrub off the old varnish.With the refinisher I learned you need to apply a generous amount, working it in a circular motion, then wiping it off with a clean cloth or rag.

You can see in the picture below where the refinisher dripped down the main part of the headboard. I recommend working over a drop cloth because it is very runny.  I also determined that for as good as the refinisher works on details, when it comes to large flat areas I still think an orbital sander is the fastest and easiest way to remove old finish. This headboard had a lot of veneer. Sanding veneer requires a touch of finesse, but is totally doable. Keep your sander moving so you don’t sand in one area too long, and keep an even pressure on your sander. Avoid digging into areas as much as possible.  Sanded veneer on the left, old finish on the right. You can identify veneer when a piece appears to have repetitive similar or nearly identical wood grain. Usually if it looks too perfect, it is.  I’m still working on the posts, but with the refinisher and sander I was able to get this middle section cleaned up and ready for the new stain.  She really is a beauty. I can’t wait to see how the new stain brings her back to life. 

Don’t miss all of the room transformations over at the Better Homes & Gardens One Room Challenge blog here!

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