So last summer when my husband and I were rummaging through the basement we found an old dresser/chest of drawers that had been used as a work bench or something by my grandfather. The poor thing looked pretty rough but is made from solid wood so we figured we could save it, make it look better and be useful once again.
The bad thing was we didn’t know much about refinishing furniture. My husband sanded it down to remove the old varnish or whatever it was covering it then we painted it. Probably not the best idea.
It looked good at first but as the paint dried it also started bubbling and peeling. Whatever the old dresser had been finished with must have been oil based, plus having served as a work bench for so long some oily substance had been spilled on it and never cleaned up as it has seeped into the wood and become a permanent stain on one side and along most of the top. This all made the paint not stick.
Yet the paint stuck enough to make sanding it off impossible. Then hubby went and bought a paint stripper which about killed me…even from 100 yards or more away. Using it in the garage next door still gave me a migraine and stunk my house up, that’s how strong the awful stripper was…and it still didn’t work.
We gave up and tucked the dresser into the garage. Then we heard about SoyGel made by Franmar. It’s a finish stripper made from soy. So we got some and it works. It really works. And my husband stripped the dresser in the basement with no fumes killing me, no toxic fumes at all and it took the finish right off. My husband was thrilled that something actually worked like it is supposed to and I was thrilled that it was an all natural product that was safe and effective.
The dresser is now almost done. We have painted it with black Real Milk Paint. I haven’t decided if it needs another coat or not. Then I want to put a clear coat on it and add new drawer pulls. Then hopefully I’ll have a piece of furniture that looks great.
I also have several more projects lined up to redo since we have a little more knowledge about furniture refinishing.
I can tell you one thing SoyGel will be the first thing we use to get rid of the old finishes.