How do i efficiently remove old varnish from twisty spindle like wood?


I recently acquired a beautiful old barley twist desk which there was no way around refinishing. I had a hard enough time successfully removing most the old varnish from the flat wood using chemical remover, a scraper, and hand sanding and using a sander. Now those pesky spindles are left and I can't be too aggressive with them. I'm worried I won't ever get it off because I had a hard enough time using what I did on the easier parts... Help! It's got me at a loss.

  4 answers
  • Lisa Lisa on Sep 06, 2018

    Maybe try citrus based remover? I've had success with that. Put the remover on (it's safe to use inside), let it soak for a bit and then go wipe it off. You can try using those green scrubbies they sell for cleaning pots and pans, since they will work around the spindles.

  • Try using Citristrip. Coat the spindles well with it and then wrap it in plastic wrap. Leave it for 12-24 hours. You will be amazed at how much work it did for you!

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Sep 06, 2018

    If you use Citristrip, be careful to not let it dry. I made that mistake and it was a horrible mess to remove.

  • William William on Sep 06, 2018

    Citristrip stripper and a small brass brush. For sanding wrap some sand paper around a sponge, overlap sand paper on the back of a magazine, rough twine gets into spindle crevices .