How to Strip Furniture Stain

If you would like to change the look of your furniture without purchasing new items, removing the stain finish gives you that option.

Stripping the stain from furniture and applying new shades allow you to change the look of a room without the cost of buying new furnishings. Removing the old stain requires using a stripper that causes the stain to loosen its grip on the wood, so it can be scraped from the furniture.

Move the furniture outside to a garage or to a shaded concrete driveway, out of direct sunlight. If you cannot work outside, open windows to ventilate the air.

Place the furniture on old newspapers.

Dip a 3- to 4-inch paintbrush into the stain-removing solvent. Brush the solvent on the top section of the furniture. Brush in one direction only, not back and forth. Apply a thick coat over the surface of the furniture.

Scrape the stain from the furniture with a wood scraper. Scrape in one direction, wiping the scraper with an old rag after every two to three passes. After finishing with the top, brush the stain remover on one side of the furniture. Scrape the stain as you did on the top. Continue the same procedure on the entire piece of furniture, completely removing the stain.

Rub the entire surface of the furniture with a #00 fine-grit steel wool to ensure all specks of stain are removed. Pour 3 to 4 tbsp. of lacquer thinner on a clean cloth. Wipe the furniture with the cloth.

Things You Will Need

  • Old newspapers
  • 3- to 4-inch paintbrush
  • Furniture stain remover
  • Wood scraper
  • Rag
  • #00 steel wool
  • Lacquer thinner
  • Clean cloth


  • Allow the furniture to dry for 24 to 48 hours before refinishing.
  • Wear gloves and eye protection to keep solvents from your hands and the fumes from irritating your eyes.


  • Do not use metal scrapers to strip the stain as they could leave small gouges in the wood.

About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.