Stripping wood furniture with oven cleaner?! I know, it sounds crazy, right? I thought so too the first time I heard about this method on Instagram! However, using oven cleaner as a furniture stripper has proved to be an inexpensive way to way to breath new life into a piece of dated furniture!
I’ve done a fair amount of furniture stripping in my life and have used using a variety of methods to do so. I’ve used everything from traditional chemical strippers, to citrus strip to large scale dip stripping! Each method yields similar results, however what differs is the time, cost (and gunk) involved!
When I picked up this well made Ethan Allen nightstand for just $10.99 at the local Goodwill, I knew right away that this piece would be the perfect candidate for some oven cleaner stripper! I loved the shape and timeless construction, however the orange stain was heavily dating this piece of furniture!
What Furniture Can Be Stripped Using Oven Cleaner?
The oven cleaner method for stripping stain from furniture can be used on any size and shape of furniture. HOWEVER, (and this is important) your furniture MUST be made of solid wood! Oven cleaner stripper will not work on wood veneer, so always double check your piece before you begin.
Oven Cleaner IS, however, the perfect solution for stripping pieces of furniture with difficult to sand areas, such as turned legs, routed edges or delicate overlays.
How Much Does Furniture Stripping Cost?
Furniture stripping is, generally, fairly inexpensive and easily obtained at your local hardware store, Home Depot, or Lowes . This method uses Fume-Free Easy Off, which is approximately $5 per can. However, you might consider shopping the off brand versions, such as Walmart’s oven cleaner, for nearly half the price! A nightstand, such as mine, might take 2-3 cans costing approximately $9. Not bad!
Larger furniture can be stripped using a method called Dip Stripping, and will range in price depending on the size and complexity of the piece. We used the dip strip method when stripping some vintage doors to use in our barn build. The cost was $165 per door. You can read more about that process here.
Materials Needed To Strip Furniture Using Oven Cleaner
• Scrub Brush (next time, I will use these so I can put the soap right into the scrubber!)
How To Strip Furniture Using Oven Cleaner
Spray your piece with the Fume-Free Oven Cleaner and let it sit for 20 minutes.
After your piece has sat, scrub the piece with warm water and dawn dish soap with a firm scrub brush.
Rinse the piece off thoroughly and immediately dry it off.
Let the piece fully dry. Once the piece has dried, if stain still remains, repeat the process until you are happy with the results.
Furniture Stripping Tips
Tip #1: Don’t be shy with the oven cleaner! Fully saturate the piece to yield the best results.
Tip #2: If you are working with a soft or delicate piece, you may want to use a softer bristle, so as to not scratch your piece.
Tip #3: You can use a hose to quickly rinse off your piece, however, this will not work on veneer and the water could damage and warp the piece if it is not solid wood, so make sure your piece is veneer-free.
Tip #4: If the finish has subtle areas of unevenness or blotchiness, lightly sand the piece with a fine grit sand paper, such as 220 grit. You can either sand by hand, or with an orbital sander.
- Item to be stripped
- Oven Cleaner
- Dawn Dish Soap
- Dish Brush or Pot Scrubber
- Bucket and/or Hose
- Spray your piece with the Fume-Free Oven Cleaner and let it sit for 20 minutes.
- After the 20 minutes, scrab your piece down using dawn liquid soap, water and a scrub brush.
- Rinse your piece with water (I prefer using a hose)
- Immediately dry your piece off (no not let the water sit, it could damage your piece)
- Let me piece completely dry. If residual stain remains, repeat steps 1-5 until it yields the result you want.
- (optional) seal with a top coat, such as General Finishes Flat Out Flat.
This process will not work with wood veneer.
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