Strip an Antique

Step 1: Spray it on thick

Spray an even, liberal coat of Citristrip Safer Paint & Varnish Stripper, at least 1/8" thick, onto the painted surface.

Step 2: Check progress

After 30 minutes, you should start to see the chemical reaction happening. The paint will start to bubble up and swell, and this will show that the finish is separating itself from the surface. Scrape a small test area to see if the finish is softened and ready for removal. If not, wait an additional 30 minutes and check again. Citristrip remains workable for up to 24 hours so take your time. Remove loosened finish by gently scraping in direction of wood grain with the plastic stripping tool. Use the orange stick or stripping brush to scrape out old finish buried in recesses. Continue to alternately scrape and wipe with cloths as you progress.

Step 3: Finish up

By now, you should be seeing the fresh, clean surface emerging from beneath all that old finish. Use a clean abrasive pad dipped in Citristrip Paint Stripper After Wash or Klean-Strip® Odorless Mineral Spirits to loosen remaining stubborn bits of paint. When the wood looks clear of all finish, clean the surface of all residue with soft cloths dipped in Citristrip Paint Stripper After Wash. The surface should be completely clean and dry before refinishing

After each work session, place all rags, applicators, and old-finish residue in a well-ventilated area. Allow liquid to evaporate and residue to dry outdoors then dispose of in accordance with federal, state and local regulations.

If you need assistance, please contact a technical services representative at 800-398-3892, or email us at


Before You Start

1. Read the instructions

Always read all cautions and directions on the product label before beginning a project. You should understand all aspects of the projects before you begin. You can also print this project plan and bring it along with you to the job site.

2. Prepare the work area

For best results, use chemicals in temperatures between 65° and 85°F and away from strong breeze and hot sun. Protect surrounding areas with a heavy plastic drop cloth. If working indoors, open all windows and doors and maintain a cross ventilation of moving fresh air across the work area.

3. Ready to begin

When you are ready to get started, put on your chemical splash goggles and chemical-resistant gloves. Make sure you have soft rags within easy reach for clean-up during the project.

Remove Hardware First

If you're working with a piece of furniture that has removable pieces of hardware, such as handles or other ornaments, remove these first carefully and set them aside. If a little paint happens to stick, use a dab of Citristrip to help take it off.

© Copyright 2007 W.M. Barr & Co., Memphis TN | P.O. Box 1879 Memphis, TN 38103 | 1-800-238-2672