Refinish dresser

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Forum topic by fourtay22 posted 04-21-2015 01:37 AM 476 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View fourtay22's profile


5 posts in 555 days

04-21-2015 01:37 AM

Hi all

In the process of refinishing an old dresser of mine and ran into some issues with the stripping of the lacquer or shellac. I have used acetone in the past to take off the finish of similar projects and tried citistrip once based on the hardware store recommendation (did not work very well for me).

for this one I used acetone again and it went well on the top. However on the sides it is coming off but there seems to be a very heavy coat so it is taking much longer. Does anyone have a recommendation of a more efficient removal method.

thank you, no expert and just developing refinishing as a hobby here so all recs welcome. I ultimately just plan to refinish with danish oil in neutral tone.

2 replies so far

View HerbC's profile


1569 posts in 2282 days

#1 posted 04-21-2015 03:34 AM

Is it lacquer or shellac?

If lacquer, user lacquer thinner.

If shellac use denatured alcohol.

On flat surfaces, use a scraper.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View JAAune's profile


1615 posts in 1739 days

#2 posted 04-21-2015 03:52 AM

Give it to me. I’ve got a chemical that will take it off in minutes. Actually don’t give it to me but you’re welcome to try the same chemical yourself.

Methylene chloride stripper (especially the professional grade stuff) will work faster than anything the stores are going to sell to you. You’d better work outdoors if you use it. Toxic fumes and a respirator isn’t effective against it.

Citristrip works fine but you need to let it sit about 4-5 times as long as the instructions direct. Apply it heavily, cover in film plastic then let sit untli the finish is easily lifted off with a plastic scraper.

If acetone doesn’t work, then I doubt it’s lacquer.

-- See my work at and

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