I heard people talking about stripping furniture with Easy Off oven cleaner and decided to give it a try. At first, I didn’t think it was working but that’s because I was doing it all wrong. So, if you’re thinking of trying this method to strip furniture with oven cleaner, I’m here to share what I did wrong so you can do it right!
How to strip furniture with oven cleaner.
- Place your furniture piece in a well ventilated area and use a tarp under your piece to avoid damage to concrete or grass. Do NOT place your project in the direct sun.
- Spray Easy-Off – No Fumes, generously, on your furniture piece and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
- Scrub with a soft bristle scrub brush, dipped in a bowl of water and blue Dawn.
- Rinse with water.
- Let sit, preferably in the sun, until dry.
- Repeat, if necessary.
Tips to keep in mind when you strip furniture with oven cleaner.
Wear protective gear.
A ventilator and gloves are must haves, for this project. There’s no need to compromise your health to refinish a piece of furniture.
Spray oven cleaner in the shade, out of direct sunlight.
We placed our table in the sunny driveway, sprayed it with Easy Off, and then ran errands. When we returned and scrubbed the top, it didn’t seem to do much. Later, we realized it did take the top finish off but none of the color. This is probably because the Easy Off dried quickly, in the sun, and wasn’t able to do its job.
Place a tarp or protective covering under the furniture piece you’re working on.
For our table base, we didn’t use any kind of protective covering under it and it did leave some spots on our driveway. Oops!
It’s hard to tell the difference oven cleaner makes when the wood is wet. Wait for the wood to completely dry before you decide if it worked or not.
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Use Easy-Off Fume Free.
They may all work the same but Easy-Off Fume Free oven cleaner will be a bit less toxic. We failed to use the fume free version but will be sure to do so, next time!
Spray a lot of the oven cleaner on.
You need to cake this stuff on, until it bubbles!
Know you may need more than one application.
I think I was expecting miracles with oven cleaner but the reality is, you may need more than one coat, depending on how your furniture was finished.
Sanding may still be required.
Oven cleaner will most likely take a lot of your finish off but you may need to sand a bit to get the result you are hoping for.
Use blue Dawn dish soap, in water, to help you scrub.
Definitely try to mix a bit of blue Dawn dish soap, in water, when you scrub your furniture piece.
Use a soft bristle scrub brush to scrub the finish off.
It takes a bit of elbow grease but a palm pot brush will help remove the finish more efficiently. Of course, you need to take into consideration if the scrub brush will damage your wood. For us, it worked!
What furniture should you strip using oven cleaner?
Oven cleaner can be used to strip most wood furniture but it’s debatable whether citrus strip or simply sanding would be more efficient to strip flat surfaces. Furniture with intricate designs that are hard to sand would be a great choice to use oven cleaner on, especially if you are able to refinish the piece outdoors where there’s good ventilation.
Although we placed this table in direct sunlight, the oven cleaner did take off the sheen. We then sanded the table with a palm sander until we got to raw wood.
However, I was determined to see if I could make oven cleaner work, like it had for others, so after learning a few tricks, I flipped the table over and applied oven cleaner to the outside ring, out of direct sunlight. The first picture below was after one coat of oven cleaner and a little elbow grease, scrubbing. You can see quite a bit of the finish came off. Then, I sprayed another, thick coat of oven cleaner and repeated the process. The picture on the right is the result.
After following all the tips I learned, I felt the oven cleaner did a pretty decent job at removing the finish but I did still give it a quick sand to complete the process. I suppose if I had applied the oven cleaner a third time, the finish would have probably been completely removed but it was actually easier and faster to give it a quick sand.
I would use oven cleaner to strip furniture again, with the full understanding that I would still need to give the piece a quick sand after scrubbing!