OH, I know what you were thinking......NOT that kind of stripping! Actually, I've refinished dozens of pieces of furniture over the years, and frankly, though it's hard work, I liked the process, the cost savings, and the results.
Our antique shopping quest yesterday was in search of something to use as a nightstand. Perhaps we haven't found the right places to look, mostly we've found horribly overpriced and poor quality stuff. Even though this isn't what I had in mind, I settled for it because the size and price were right ($81.00).
I much prefer pine over oak, though I still have a lot of oak pieces......and since it wasn't rickety I decided to strip this oak table in an effort to lighten the wood and get rid of the old varnish. The above is the "before" photo. (Before my fingers, hands, knees and butt were so sore, I'll be heading to our jetted tub after this is posted!)
5 hours of scrubbing with steel wool and stripper.......it's down to the natural wood. Now that's much better!
This is the fun part, I favor Watco oil (natural) for my furniture, rather than stain and other protective coatings. You can see how the wood grain pops out where I've oiled it. The process is sort of like the excitement you get when you're sewing blocks together. Now it will dry overnight, and perhaps get more oil tomorrow before I finish 'staging' the alcove bedroom. Staging is really an appropriate description.....due to the distance we now live from close friends and family, I'm wondering if this space will ever get used.....I hope so!