Is It Better to Sand or Strip Furniture

Published on: April 1, 2022
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

Day to day life and way of work changes. Lots of change makes our life easy and creates different ways. Like others, the wood industry faces different changes. Now we have options to choose between sand or strip. What’s your favorite one when you work with wood furniture? 

Well, in this article I am sharing some information about sand and stripes so that you can easily choose one of them. 

is it better to sand or strip furniture

What is Sanding

We need to sand the  wood for a smooth finish flat surface. To this work we sand the bare wood or sometimes old paint wooden furniture. Sand is the process of smoothing or polishing a surface with sandpaper or sander. This process gives a smooth surface of wood so it looks elegant and perfect. And without a smart surface you can’t make good paint or varnish on furniture. You can not get an oil finish surface. 

So if you want nice finishing furniture then sanding is the basic way. 

What is Strip

 Do you know what a strip is? This is a very nice process if you do not like sanding. Stripping is a process where you need not to use a sander. You just need to use different chemicals like sprite, wax, spray to get a fine finish on the furniture. You can also use eco-friendly ingredients to do this job. Striping creates a natural look on your furniture. 

Is It Better to Sand or Strip Furniture

When I started work in the wood industry I had very little knowledge. Day by day I change myself and the day to day wood industry that I observe.  Sanding was the most difficult work for me when I was new. But nowadays a new wood worker also has an option called strip. Let’s discover which one is better: sand or strip furniture. Hope that it will be very enjoyable for both of us. 

Fastness of Work

Who wants to work fast with wooden furniture? When you work with a time schedule you want to work first. Trust me, striping  works faster than the sand. Because when you go to work with sander you need more time. Because different sanders are used in different parts of furniture and various steps are followed at the sanding time. Sanding is a time consuming way but striping is a fast way for raw wood or old paint wood. 

Safety Issue

Safety is a big factor when you like to work with solid wood, sandpaper, putty knife, paint, sanding block, paint remover, etc. Carpenter job is not an easy job. On every step you should be concerned about your safety. If you prefer sanding then be more careful because if you are not concerned any unwanted accident can be done by sander.  

On the other hand when you choose to strip your wood furniture it is safer than the sand work. Because there is no chance to lose your organ through the striping because strip work uses some mineral spirits, tack cloth, putty knife, wax, etc. All strip elements are not dangerous so I think if you are confused about the safety then choose the strip. 

Disciple Workplace

I don’t like a messy work environment when I am working. If you are like me and want to create discipline in the workplace then it’s better to choose sand furniture. Because when you sand your furniture with sandpaper, your workplace. But at the same time when you work with stripping then it can be a reason to make your place messy.  

On the opposite striping makes your place messy quickly because you use lots of items to make work easier. Stripes are an easier way than the sand if you can wait to dissolve the striper. When the striper dissolve to the wood it works fast even if you are working with old furniture that is covered with the lacquer thinner. 

Old Furniture

Removing old paint or varnish coats is not an easy way.  It is quite difficult especially I don’t like to do this work. For this reason I was given this job by some of my friends. But when I try stripping, I love this. Because removing paint or varnish from the old furniture is really problematic and difficult. You need to use different sanders like, mouse sander, orbital sander, sandpaper and so on. But when you try to strip it’s easier than sand. 

Be pretend and wipe the varnish or paint. Never want a quick result when you strip furniture because it can give you an upset result because strips need time to dissolve.

How to Striping

Do you know how to strip furniture? In this section I am going to share about it so that you can easily strip your furniture and create a natural look at your home. This is a time consuming process but is it easier then sanding and this creates an elegant look at your sweet home.  Ok here is the process of stripping furniture , let’s learn with fun. 

Step 1-  To start with the first step, apply the stripper on the furniture with an old painting brush. Now it’s waiting so that the stripper can easily dissolve.

Step 2- Use your putty knife to remove the stripper from the furniture. If it can not be removed easily then apply one more coat of stripper and again wait. 

Step 3 – Clean the corner with the brass-bristle brush. This brush helps you easily remove the striper from  the corner without damage. 

Step 4 – It is true that removing paint or strippers on the carved or raised areas is not so easy. You can use a  medium-grade steel wool wrap to do this job. 

Step 5 – To remove the paint stripper you can use the mineral spirits or water stripers. Wash very  carefully without harm to the furniture. It is better to use the mineral spirit when you want to wash the solvent-based strippers, and at the same time to clean the water-base strippers use water.

Step 6 –  Dust and a sticky coat of a stripper is a big problem. Use tack cloth to wipe the surface. Tack cloth can clean all of them easily.

Step 7-  If you want the best result and fine finish surface then apply the top coat for the final result.

Step 8- Aging follows all of them and gets a natural elegant look on your beautiful furniture. 

Tools for Strip

If you read this article you have a clear idea about necessary tools that will be needed for striping. But to make this article easier I will give you a list of tools. Here is the list of necessary tools for strip furniture.

  • Rubber gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Dust mask
  • Chemical wood stain and finish stripper
  • Putty knife or scraper tool
  • Steel wool
  • Foam brush
  • Mineral spirits 
  • Oxalic acid and borax 
  • Tack cloth
  • Rags
  • brass-bristle brush
  • A scratch awl or ice pick
  • A kitchen vegetable brush
  • String
  • Old toothbrushes
  • Cleaning Brush
  • Paint Brush

Chemical Paint Stripper 

It is a chemical product that is used to remove or strip paint. Basically it is a paint remover. Chemical paint stripers are used when you want smooth finish furniture without sand. This chemical easily removes old paint, latex paint, and varnish without sanding.

5 Mistakes of Strip

Do you know the mistake of the strip furniture? Let’s look at 5 mistakes on the strip that will help you to get a good result.

  1. Not waiting for enough time is a  big mistake.
  2. Applying a small amount of mineral sprite coat to the stripper.
  3. Wax of wipe stripper the wrong way. 
  4. Use wrong tools for stripping.
  5. Wait for a long time after applying for a stripper.


I hope now you have a clear idea about the strip furniture so you can easily choose your best way. I also hope you get an idea what is better to sand or strip furniture. Always try to choose the easiest way so that you can work full of fun not pressure. 

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About This Writer

author eric devin

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

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