Restoring Built In Buffet With BLUE BEAR Paint & Urethane Stripper

February 5, 2018 | Posted by Scott Sarver

Several weeks ago, we shared a story about the restoration of a staircase and fireplace in a historic craftsman home in Fresno, California. The Hicks didn't waste much time in moving on to their next project and started on the built-in buffet next. Over the holidays they were able to restore and stain this beautiful piece to an original state.


From Laura:

 After we completed the stairway, we stood in the great room admiring the beauty of the natural wood.  However, when we turned 180 degrees, we were looking at a RED fireplace with a Bright White mantle!  “Oh no, that just isn’t right!” We lamented.


The painted buffetWe finished that project by using your Blue Bear Paint & Urethane Stripper for the first time.  We loved the way all the paints came off so cleanly from the brick!  So as we were standing in the great room, admiring the results of our second project, we turned 90 degrees, and were looking at the RED buffet!  “Oh no, that just isn’t going to work!”  We cringed.


We started stripping the built-in buffet on November 26th.  Our buffet was initially stained and sealed with Urethane, had a layer of flat white paint (possibly lead-based), followed by a layer of pale rose latex paint, covered by a layer pale grey latex paint and finished with the white latex paint.  We also included the window seat, because it is in the same room, and the same condition. 


We applied the stripper and allowed to set overnight.  The next morning we were astonished to find the 3 layers of latex paint bubbled up, and watched it fall off the vertical surfaces! 


Tip from BLUE BEAR: On vertical surfaces the top layers will often times 'let go' before the stripper has had a chance to work on the layers below. When possible or if necessary, the surface may be wrapped lightly with saran wrap or like covering to help hold the stripper in place.


We safely handled the falling paint layer, but used gloves, because it was a bit messy. Once all the surfaces were done, we reapplied another coat of stripper.  The next day, the layer of flat paint crackled, became a glue-like texture, which we removed with a scraper.   We applied one more coat of stripper onto the stained wood, and the gel absorbed the urethane, which we just wiped off!  


Tip from BLUE BEAR: BLUE BEAR Paint & Urethane Stripper will lighten stain but not fully remove stain from wood. Stains are penetrating coatings, meaning that they are absorbed into the wood. BLUE BEAR Paint & Urethane Stripper is designed to work on surface coatings and to not penetrate the surface. Results will vary if used on stain.


We considered the sanding stage to be the most work, endless elbow grease and extremely long hours!  Finally, we completed that phase, so we took a break, and decorated our bare buffet for Christmas!Emoji


            After Christmas, the staining began.  Finally, appropriate hardware was applied.  We stood back and enjoyed the completed work of art!  Now we can stand in the great room, look 360 degrees, and exclaim, “Now, that’s just right!”




Be sure to follow our blog for more articles and tips like this one! We look forward to whatever the Hicks have planned next.