Furniture Refinishing with a Power Washer
Why settle for scraping off goopy furniture stripping gel when you can power wash your way to furniture perfection?
So, you've got a piece of furniture that's seen better days. The finish is worn, the color is faded, and it's just not bringing you joy anymore. Fear not, my friend, because I've got a solution that will have your furniture looking brand spanking new in no time. And the best part? It involves a pressure washer. Yes, you read that right. We're going to strip the finish off of your furniture with the power of water. Let's dive in!
This Is a before view of the bed frame. The 1980 are calling and they want their bed back right?!?
- Power Washer (at least 1500 psi). I used a 3100 psi with a 15 degree nozzle for this project.
- Stripping Solution/Gel (I used 1 quart Citristrip)
- Tarp or drop cloth
- Safety goggles
- Disposable paint brush/chip brush & container
- Sand paper (I used 120 grit)
- Sanding brushes (optional for projects with spindles).
- Sealant or wax (I use Fiddes Wax for raw wood projects).
Step 1: Choose the right pressure washer
Before we get started, you'll need to make sure you have the right tool for the job. Not all pressure washers are created equal, so be sure to choose one with enough power to strip away the finish without damaging the wood underneath. Look for a pressure washer with an adjustable nozzle and a PSI of at least 1500. Trust me, you'll thank me later. For this project, I used a 3000 psi power washer with a 15 degree nozzle.
Step 2: Prep your workspace
Now that you've got your pressure washer ready to go, it's time to set up your workspace. Find a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors, and lay down a tarp or drop cloth to catch any debris or paint chips that may come off during the process. You don't want to make a mess, do you? Of course not!
Step 3: Safety first!
Before you start blasting away, it's important to protect yourself. Put on some safety goggles to shield your eyes from any flying debris, and don't forget to wear gloves to keep your hands safe from the powerful spray. Safety first, my friend!
Step 4: Apply furninture stripper per manufacturers recommendations
Let’s get the goopy gloppy party started! Since I was in a rush to get this project done, I used Citristrip from Home Depot. There are many other options for strippers including QCS and GreenEz. I’ve heard great things about both and plan on using them for future projects but I was in a major time crunch for this project (like 1 day to finish the entire thing!) so I used what I could find locally. I applied a generous coat of stripper and let it set for ~15 min.
Step 5: Let the power washing begin!
Now comes the fun part. Fire up that pressure washer and start spraying the furniture, focusing on one section at a time. Move the nozzle back and forth in a sweeping motion, making sure to keep it at a safe distance from the surface to avoid any damage. The water will strip away the finish, revealing the beautiful wood underneath. It's like magic!
Step 6: Rinse and repeat
After rinsing and allowing the piece to dry for several hours, apply another coat of stripper as needed. My piece had a very thick polyurethane finish so 2 coats were needed. Once you've stripped away the finish from the entire piece of furniture, it's time to give it a good rinse. Switch to a wider spray pattern on your pressure washer and go over the entire surface, removing any remaining debris or paint chips. Take a step back and admire your handiwork. Doesn't it look amazing?
Step 7: Sand as needed.
Sanding may be required for those stubborn areas that just won’t let go of the finish!! Use 120 grit sand paper or if sanding a chair or bed with spindles you can sand like to boss with these brushes attached to a drill! Please everyone…learn from my mistakes!! After sanding, give the piece a thorough wipe down with a damp cloth to remove excess dust.
Step 6: Dry and finish
After all that hard work, you'll want to let your furniture dry completely before applying a new finish. Give it a day or two to air dry, and then you can get creative with your choice of stain, paint, or sealant. The possibilities are endless!
If you’re leaving the wood unfinished with a raw look, i recommend this wax. It will darken the piece slightly but overall keeps the natural wood look!
And there you have it, my friend. A quirky, fun, and slightly unconventional way to strip the finish off of your furniture. So, grab that pressure washer and get to work. Your furniture will thank you!
If you’d like to see a short video of the process on Instagram you can check it out here. I would love to see your pressure washed creations! Please tag me on social media or send me an email with some before and after! Happy Pressure Washing friends!
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