Stripping with a New Routine

A few months ago, I spent several hours (and several burns) stripping a chair for Greg’s man cave with a can of stripper. What you didn’t know or notice in any of the pictures was the dresser I attempted to strip using the same method.

Actually, it was more like a crash and burn complete with my dad stopping by and telling me I did it wrong. In my defense, all the YouTube videos about stripping furniture recommended stripper. After father dearest stopped shaking he head at my failed effort, he shared his sage wisdom:

You need a heat gun.

Nowhere online did it say anything about a heat gun. Sander, yes. Stripper, yes. Heat gun, no.

We found the dresser at Goodwill for about $8 and fell in love with the 60s structural design. The funky feet added character to the dresser and the recessed top drawers added an accent we wanted to highlight. We relished the fact the dresser was built of solid wood and not laminate. Sure, it had some ugly knobs but a trip to Lowe’s and they could easily be replaced. The former owners painted with a white latex which just gooped up when the stripper touch it. I decided to try the heat gun since my dad has experience refinishing furniture (although no YouTube video).

The next day he dropped off the heat gun and some scrapey thing (official name). The heat gun resembles a hair dryer except it could set your hair on fire or melt paint.

I plugged the sucker in and went to work. The paint bubbles up and burns after a few seconds. Remove the heat gun from paint and scrape.

Holy crap, it worked. Holy crap, it was kind of fun to do.


Yeah, we both sort of wanted to use the heat gun at this point. Then I started thinking how great this would work on our banister which needs to be repainted. Greg saw me get the look in my eye of another project and gave me the don’t even think of it look. Sometimes our telepathy of each other is frightening.

Many hours later (over several days/weeks), I had the entire dresser stripped. We filled half a paper bag with the discarded paint chips and suffered zero burns. Any project where one of us doesn’t hurt ourselves is considered a roaring success.

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