Stripping old furniture finish

I just bough an antique hutch that is in good condition except finish. I want to completely strip old finish and then put new finish that I have not decided yet which one. I never stripped finish from old furniture, what the best way to do this?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have been using a heat gun. Some in here would say never use a heat gun. But that is what I have used. Only word of advise is if you use a heat gun is that it will burn the wood, so I try to keep the distance from the wood and the rate that I move across the surface of the wood consistent. If the finish is totally gone, then you may get by with just sanding. Depends how dry the varnish is. Why I don't use chemicals is cause it really becomes a mess to deal with. And the heat gun, like in hard to get places sometimes all you need to do is to heat the varnish to break the bond to the wood and it sands eaiser after being heated. I bought a good heat gun also that helps. Some of the $20 guns may work but I haven't tryed them yet I have always used the kind that look like a conair blow dryer (like the one's used to dry hair) it cost about $70, but recently they have gone for about $49 at home depot. hope this helps :)

not
the
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If the piece still has the original finish, keep in mind what you learned in chemistry class. That is, likes dissolve likes. For example, if the piece was finished with shellac, denatured alcohol was used to cut the shellac and will easily dissolve it from the piece. Some experimenting with turpentine, boiled linnenseed oil, etc. may prove successful. Keep in mind that some finishes are chemically changed after applying by oxygen like poly, so this rule will not apply here. You'll need stripper or heat, etc. for poly --dave

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net says...

Antique and strip, now there are two words that are a bit scary when used together.
Just for FYI in case you weren't aware of it, stripping an antique, for that matter messing with the original finish in just about any way will just about completely destroy any value the piece has as an antique.
Without knowing more about the construction of the piece and what the original finish is it is difficult to give good advice on stripping a finish. If I were you I would, at the least, have someone who is familiar with such things look at the piece before you leap into anything using the advice you get on line.
With due respect to the posters replying to this post, well meant advice can get you into deep doo doo. Even appropriate advice can do it.
IE The two easiest ways are probably chemical stripper and or heat. Unfortunately, should the piece be made with veneer and or hide glue, either or both of these options could have adverse effects on veneer and or the joints of the piece. The same with power sanding. Veneer is very easy to sand through.
If I were inclined to give advice on a piece I haven't seen it would be to go the most laborious route of using a card scraper and hand sanding.
What ever method you choose to use, be conservative in it's application and go slowly.
--
MikeG
Heirloom Woods
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
although the wood looks good the finish is in bas shape and has to be removed completely. Unfortunately, I don't know what the original finish is and what wood is.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net says...

Also unfortunately neither do I, which leads me back to my original recommendation of finding, among friends, relatives, or what ever, someone who is conversant with woodworking to actually look at the piece and advise you.
--
MikeG
Heirloom Woods
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.