Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/Waterfall Armoire


Waterfall Armoire
Waterfall Armoire  

Waterfall Dresser
Waterfall Dresser  
Hello Eileen,  Just found this site where you had talked about stripping a piece of waterfall furniture.  We just purchased an old waterfall armoire that has been painted (antiqued I believe is the accurate term back in the day when people were "antiquing" furniture.  Well, we would like to strip the "antiquing paint" and refinish the armoire.  I realize you wrote this advice in 2008.  Just wondering if you have any additional words of wisdom.  I have attached a picture of both the armoire and a dresser that was purchased with it.  We do not own the dresser--just purchased the armoire from the owner of both--she did not want to deal with the armoire!!  Thanks!

Hi Kathy
Nice to hear from you.
Nothing much has changed from my original info but I will include it for you.
I do see a problem you will have with the broken veneer on the waterfall above the center drawer.
But get it all stripped down and we will have another look to see what can be done.
Great project

The first thing you must do is assemble the material to do the job.
The stripper is the most important item.  
I am hoping you can get "CIRCA 1850" brand paint and varnish remover in your area.
Here is a link

MATERIAL LIST For the stripping stage.
1 gallon stripper
3 boxes of Bull Dog steel wool in medium grade.
One 3 inch oil based paint brush.
Rubber gloves (like you do dishes with), and a pair of cotton gloves inside the rubber ones.
People react differently to stripper. A lot of people feel heat through the rubber gloves, but I feel cold. Have no idea why.
An empty large coffee can. (for the stripper)
A couple of old tooth brushes.
Lots of old rags (I like t-shirts or cotton but for this first stage whatever you have)
Lots of newspaper to protect the garage floor
That's all you need to get started.
Work in sections.
Brush on the stripper with the brush. Stripper will quit working if it dries, so keep it wet till the finish softens.
Then take a rag and wipe this mess off.
Then another coat of stripper, rag off again, then while the wood is still wet, take the steel wool and rub with the grain till the wood is nice and clean.
Depending on the material you are removing, another coat of stripper is often needed but you will know this as you progress into the job.
Use the toothbrush in crevices.
Thats all there is to it ...move to another section and continue.
No other prep is necessary...and DO NOT SAND
When the stripping is complete, stain with Minwax stain applied with a rag, then 3 or 4 coats of low lustre tung oil also applied with a rag.
Please let me know if anything is not 100% clear.  

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Eileen Cronk


Hi..I can answer most questions about the repairing,stripping and refinishing of all your old furniture and wood items(the things we call antiques)I can give advice about what to buy/avoid at auctions/flea markets. I do not give appraisals on antiques.


I have been refinishing antiques for the past 30yrs. While I have taken several courses over the years,I have found that "hands on" learning is the best teacher. Perhaps I can help you avoid some of the mistakes I made while learning.

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