Whether you’re stripping a chair you found in a garage sale, staining a vintage dresser or painting dated kitchen cabinets, be sure to protect yourself and those around you in the process. Here is what to do:
- Read the label. Follow all safety and usage instructions on the label, including how to dispose of any leftover products.
- Work in an area with lots of ventilation. Refinish old furniture outdoors, if weather permits. If you work inside, open the windows to make sure there is plenty of ventilation.
- Do not use sanders, heat guns or blowlamps. This can create dust and fumes that may contain lead.
- Use a chemical paint stripper. Ideally, choose one with a paste that can be applied with a brush. Paint strippers also contain substances that may be harmful, so use them carefully.
- Keep children and pregnant women away from the work area. This will help ensure their safety.
- Always wear safety glasses, gloves, and a good-quality breathing mask. The label of the product will provide more detailed information on personal safety equipment you should use. These are essential to protect you and your family.
- Store materials properly. Make sure that you store refinishing chemicals in a dry, cool place. Keep any hazardous material away from children’s reach.
- Dispose of refinishing waste materials properly. It can be very dangerous to throw away rags and certain other materials that have been used for refinishing furniture. Aside from potentially starting a fire, they can also cause serious damage to the environment.