Citristrip & Saran Wrap to Remove Finishes


This antique coffee table was given to me by my neighbor. When I refinish a piece and want to re-stain the top I either use my sander or use this Citristrip/Saran Wrap trick. I use the CS/SW trick when there are layers and layers of paint or delicate creases & details. The Citristrip gets in the crevices and does the job. The Saran Wrap is Citristrip's side kick! It keeps the heat in and makes the Citristrip work more effectively.
citristrip suran wrap to remove finishes, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
citristrip suran wrap to remove finishes, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
My plans were to re-stain the top and paint the bottom white & glaze the details. BUT Oh how plans change when you listen to the piece.
citristrip suran wrap to remove finishes, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
First you lather a good amount of Citristrip to the surface. Get it into the crevasses really well.
citristrip suran wrap to remove finishes, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
I use cheap ol' Saran Warp.
citristrip suran wrap to remove finishes, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
Making sure I push all the air out and push it into all the nooks & crannies.
citristrip suran wrap to remove finishes, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
I leave it for 12-24 hrs.
citristrip suran wrap to remove finishes, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
Come back a day later and the magic has happened!
citristrip suran wrap to remove finishes, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
It turns the previous varnish, stain or paint into light powder like substance. It's not the gooey, sticky Citristrip substance that you get when you don't wait a day or so to remove.
citristrip suran wrap to remove finishes, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
I use 50/50 D-natured alcohol/H20 & a soft bristle tooth brush to remove excess Citristrip.
I then set the table in the sun for a few hrs to dry out. Took my 180 grit sand paper and smoothed it out with my sander.
citristrip suran wrap to remove finishes, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
A coat of wood conditioner that I make (50/50 Shellac/D-natured alcohol) & let it dry. The seal with General Finishes Arm-R-Seal.
citristrip suran wrap to remove finishes, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
citristrip suran wrap to remove finishes, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
This is when I knew that the choice of not painting was the best choice for this piece. Look at the two toned color of the wood. I don't always paint!
citristrip suran wrap to remove finishes, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
citristrip suran wrap to remove finishes, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
citristrip suran wrap to remove finishes, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
That beautiful top was been ignored but not any longer!!
You can see more of my pieces on my FB pge Rehab to Fab.
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Stephanie  Coon/Rehab to Fab

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 59 questions
  • Dsm34010837
    on Aug 28, 2018

    Citristrip what..there are many types online?

  • Gina
    on Dec 4, 2018

    Hello,

    Question I did this to a table and it did remove layers. However, it was wet and I am not sure if I did it wrong. I did it just as explained and will do it on other pieces. So thanks for the tip. Just need to know how to have it more dry instead of wet. I did need to stop to clean my scraper because it clung to it. I will do this again on table tops and prey much anything that does not have any side detail like the trellis on one I'm working on now. Hey live and learn its what it's all about. I would recommend this to anyone. Thank you. I hope to hear from you


    • Mary Anne Warczak-Pokorny
      on Feb 16, 2019

      I believe she said she gave it a couple days. I don’t know if that’s the secret or not, but when she came backs few days later it was powdery.

  • Gina
    on Dec 5, 2018

    I did try it. Works great but mine was not dry it was wet and goopy. It dud remove layers with one pass of my plastic scraper. Wonder how to have it like her dry but not sure how. Hope someone answers my question above.
    • Pixybrat
      on Mar 5, 2019

      Perhaps TOO much Citristrip is being used? Maybe try a little less so that it can dry out...(?).

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2 of 411 comments
  • Sally H.
    on Feb 9, 2019

    Gorgeous piece. So glad you didn’t paint. The beautiful carving and tones of the wood are delights to the eye. I have a small table I may try your plastic wrap trick to strip. Thanks for the idea!


  • L.M.
    on Feb 24, 2019

    I always loved the style of table and was sad when it "went out of fashion". Thank you for honoring the beauty of its designs and helping us to bring this an other table back to their place in home design & decor.

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