Refinishing Continued--but not Finished!
Okay, so here are some tips, probably if you want to use any stripper, but particularly if you use the one I did.
1.) Buy enough so you don't scrimp. I used nearly the whole container on my little night stand. And, I'm going to have to redo certain areas.
2.) Don't start Sunday afternoon. Unless you don't have a job. As it turns out (the package says it--I just didn't believe it) it takes between 4-24 hours for this stuff to work. You know this by the color. I started scraping before I was sure. Some of it came off, but I decided to let it sit overnight. I might even recommend making this a longer-term thing doing one surface at a time. This way, you can lay that surface parallel to the floor so that no product runs. They say it doesn't, but there were areas where the stripper moved away from the edge.
3.) Have a work area that is not your bedroom. The fumes went away and were not strong, so by the time I went to bed, I didn't smell much. However, I don't have much space. So, essentially, I was leaning over my nightstand with my butt against the bed. The result of this was that strips of the goop flew into places I didn't want it. I also see the advantage of having a workbench. Leaning over for extended periods is heck for your back.
4.) Wear gloves. Wear shoes. Don't step on the stuff. It's sticky. After work today I decided to tackle the rest of the scraping. I was in a t-shirt (only after my mom said "Christine, are you doing that in your work clothes?!" Answer: yes. "Take them off!") and bare feet. I ended up with caked-on paint/thinner goop on my feet. I still have residue on my hands and feet.
I couldn't handle doing it all. It was loud and the last thing I felt like doing before dinner. I managed to get most of the gunk off--the scrubbing with water to get the rest off will have to wait. And, like I said, I'm probably going to have to redo some areas if I can't get it off with a brush, scrubber or sand paper. So, I have a feeling the staining will happen later.
Here it is now. Don't know if you can actually see the mahogany peeking through on the second photo--in an already scrubbed clean area.
Needless to say, I'm reconsidering the "Hey, maybe I can redo my living room cabinet, and a dresser and my chair!" idea. I think this is kind of like childbirth--you need to wait a few years until you forget how painful it is. I know that, also like childbirth, it will all be worth it in the end, but right now, it's pretty painful.