Cabinets and Buffets, Good Vibes Blog

CitriStrip Paint Remover Hack, Will it Work?

Back in the day the only product made for stripping paint and varnish was good ol’ caustic, strong and kind of dangerous Zip Strip but . . . the stuff worked fast and easy!! Today’s product, safe, non-toxic, not bad smelling citrus based stripping is so mild, it takes several cycles to get a good strip to raw wood. I tried a thing, it worked, so I share my new trick for faster furniture stripping!

The legs took 2 cycles using the citrus striper and scrubbing with steel wool. The stripping product instructions say to let it sit 30 minutes after applying. So I did but only half of it removed. That’s sure not like the old smelling skin irritating days. Searching for a better way, while not reverting to the toxic stuff, I found a stripping hack on YouTube – using saran wrap!

Yes! It Worked.

This is a picture of the top backboard removed from the buffet. It’s the long stick of wood that unscrewed from the buffet top. After a generous goopy coat of citrus stripping product, it was wrapped in saran wrap and left on over night. When it was unwrapped the next day the varnish had absorbed the stripper and was still soft to the touch. I used a misting bottle of water to re-activate the product so that it would scrub off easier with the steel wool and it did! It all came off much easier! Check out this video.

Bleaching Cherry Red Wood – Blondies Know This Hack

I’m not a fan of the red stain naturally found in this antique cherry piece. Since it is old wood, the red tannin runs deep and strong. Turning again to YouTube for the answer for bleaching wood to get the red out, looks like regular household bleach can do the trick. But wait . . . there’s a hack for that too!

Attesting to its truth, heat and UV rays speed the bleaching process for sure! The backboard was bleached on my basement work bench, a tepid and dark space. The legs were bleached on the front porch, a sunny and much warmer summer space. Yeah, 4 coats of bleach on the backboard and only 2 coats to get the red out of the legs.

The Rest of the Work to Modernize Long Sexy Leg Buffet

I wanted golden brown and I got it using bleach. Other prep work included super cleaning the wood surfaces prepping to prime and paint and filling the handle holes and drilling new ones for new hardware. To be honest, whenever I fill hardware holes I feel like I’m putting the piece to sleep, like in a coma, so she won’t feel the work I’m about to do. Once new hardware holes are drilled, she’s awake!

About Me

  • My name is Long Sexy Legs. I am a vintage buffet, some say sideboard, from the 1940’s so I’m at least 80 years old.
  • Lined drawers and doors slide super nicely without rubs or hang ups.
  • Chalk painted mid-tone gray Sherwin Williams Acier
  • Embellished using white very tasteful vine stencil in center oval and lower drawer corners. There is also a peek-a-boo stencil at the bottom inside corners of the doors
  • Refinished legs and top backboard.
  • All surfaces protected with at least 3 coats General Finishes High Performance Flat Sheet
  • New rustic chic cast iron hardware

Price, Dimensions and Location


$445 inside Windy Hill Market, 217 N. Jackson Street, downtown Jackson, MI open M-F 11-6 and Saturdays 11-4!

66″ long x 21″ deep x 37 high