In this section:

Items You’ll Need

  • Citristrip® Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel
  • Chemical splash goggles
  • 2-3 pairs of chemical-resistant gloves
  • Plastic stripping tool
  • Abrasive stripping pad
  • Stripping brush (for working small areas)
  • Wooden orange sticks (for working detailed areas)
  • 2" or 3" natural-bristle paintbrushes
  • Metal container, clean and empty
  • Heavy plastic drop cloths (6 mil recommended)
  • Soft cotton rags for cleanup
  • Citristrip® Paint Stripper After Wash
  • Aluminum pie tins

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.

2. Prepare The Work Area
For best results, use chemicals in temperatures between 65° and 85° F and away from a strong breeze and hot sun. Protect the 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 cleanup during the project.

Use Citristrip® To Lighten Stain

First reapply Citristrip® and allow it to soak in. Then scrub with a clean plastic stripping pad dipped in soapy water. Do not use steel wool. Then use a dry rag to remove the stain residue and dry the surface. Lightly sand. Do not use this technique with veneers.

Stripping Table Legs And Vertical Parts

Things that stand upright can be a little trickier to strip because liquid remover doesn't stick as well. But Citristrip® Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel goes on thicker than typical strippers and dries slowly, so it works hard to give your table and its legs a new facelift.


Step 1

Step 1: Set Up
Set the legs in shallow aluminum foil pie pans. The pie pans catch the remover that drips off. If you are working with a piece of furniture or other object that has removable pieces of hardware, such as handles or other ornaments, carefully remove these first and set them aside.

Step 2

Step 2: Lay It On Thick
Brush on an even, liberal coat of stripper gel, at least 1/8" thick, to the painted surface. If the furniture you are working on has a lot of intricate detail, such as sculpted carvings, make sure to use the tips of your brush to work the stripper gel into the recesses of the wood.

Step 3

Step 3: 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 the direction of the wood grain with the plastic stripping tool. Wipe away residue with the abrasive pad. Continue to alternately scrape and wipe with the abrasive pad as you progress.

Step 4

Step 4: 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 to loosen remaining finish and remove any residue. When the piece of furniture looks clean and clear of all finish, wipe off using soft cloths dipped in Citristrip® Paint Stripper After Wash. 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 the liquid to evaporate and the residue to dry outdoors before disposing 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