Have you heard about the latest trend in furniture refinishing? Believe it or not, you use oven cleaner! We have seen lots of pictures on social media and the pieces look amazing. So . . . we had to try it for ourselves. We picked two pieces of furniture that were definitely project pieces, a scuffed up vanity without a mirror and a square occasional table with an outdated finish. And then we attacked it with steel wool. It definitely took some elbow grease, but the finish started to come off. Well most of the finish. The top of the occasional table seemed resistant to the oven cleaner. Once we had given it a good scrubbing we hosed it off with some very high pressure and watched as the finish sloughed off (except the top of the occasional table).
We patted the pieces dry and left them outside overnight to air dry. The next morning we were really happy with the vanity. Almost all of the finish was gone and beautiful wood was revealed. We were not so happy with the table. The legs and side looked great, but the top still had a shiny finish. We must say kudos to the manufacturer on that one because this is an older piece and the finish has stood the test of time. Since we are just experimenting with the process, we are going to hold off on applying more oven cleaner and potentially wasting money. We might try something different on the top that will complement the raw wood of the base.
We decided to apply our last can of oven cleaner to the vanity and repeat the process honing in on some stubborn spots. It turned out great! Because the piece was standing upright gravity pulled the oven cleaner down the legs so they are darker than the top. We considered turning it on its side and redoing the legs, but we kind of like the almost ombre look it created. For now we are going to leave it. So we have two pieces that are mostly stripped and we are going to ponder our next move. Stay tuned!
Our take on this latest trend: messy, smelly, and time consuming. However, it was relatively inexpensive and we like the finished result (except for the top of the table). So . . . check back later and we’ll let you know how we finish the pieces. Best part?!?!?! We were able to repurpose, reimagine and rediscover a use for some outdated furniture that was headed for the landfill!