How to Strip Wood Furniture with Oven Cleaner!

Buying furniture second hand is a great way to furnish your home on a budget.

I’ve found that most bargain pieces found at thrift stores, or Estate sales, need an update.

Then I discovered oven cleaner furniture stripper!

A change in the finish can make your finds go from “garage sale” to designer, for a fraction of the price!

Pin it for later!

Need some tips on thrift shopping for your home? Find that right here.

If you’ve bought or inherited a solid wood piece that’s looking dated, I’ve got an easy makeover idea for you!

Don’t get me wrong, I still like a great painted masterpiece. I love (and own) a lot of specialty furniture paint that turns my furniture transformation powers into pure magic!

Need some painted furniture inspiration? Find that right here, and here.

oven cleaner furniture stripping

However, I’ve been seeing (dreaming of, drooling over) some of the gorgeous stripped wood, designer pieces that I’ve seen out in the interwebs!

The more minimal, modern rustic style really appeals to my husband and me.

But the price tag just isn’t in the realm of reality for my budget.

Besides, I get a lot of satisfaction getting the same look, for pennies on the dollar. You too?

Then let’s do this!

Which Brand Of Oven Cleaner is Best for Furniture Stripping?

I used the generic brand of oven cleaner that I found at my local Wal-Mart. Any brand will work.

Just be sure you use it in a well ventilated location. I worked on my pieces in my driveway or back deck. It’s pretty messy too. So also keep that in mind.

What Furniture Can I Use It On?

Solid wood pieces are your best bet. Especially the vintage pieces that have an older finish on them. It seems that the more aged the polyurethane and stain are, the easier it strips off with the oven cleaner.

However, I used it on a painted piece and it worked beautifully!

You’ll need to use water to scrub and rinse the finish off. Anything with a laminate or pressed wood, could be ruined.

On my painted dresser, I was unaware that two of the drawers had wood laminate on them. They did bubble on the edges when I used a lot of water to get the finish off!

I ended up peeling the laminate off and there was wood underneath. I got lucky!

I haven’t found that it affects the solid wood pieces. I let them sit in the sun until completely dry.

Supplies You’ll Need

Oven cleaner

Rubber or Latex type gloves

Drop cloth (optional)

Bucket of water, hose, or power washer

Dish soap

Scrub brush

How To Strip Furniture with Oven Cleaner

It’s so easy, it feels like a tutorial is unnecessary. However, I know that it can be a little scary to do this first time!

Starting with a small project, like the salt and pepper shakers, or stool that I’m showing you, can help you get a feel for the process!

1. Choose a location with good ventilation, preferably outside. Trust me. You don’t want a cloud of this stuff going up your nose!

2. Protect the area around your furniture if you’re concerned about the over spray. Give the can a good shake and spray away. Be sure you coat all surfaces well.

3. Leave it in a shaded place for 30 minutes.

Now grab some gloves for this part, unless you don’t mind oven cleaner on your hands.

4. Take your scrub brush and bucket and start scrubbing off that old finish. A power washer is really your best bet, if you have one. The pressure helps to strip the finish without as much scrubbing.

5. Go through the whole process again until you’re at the desired finish.

I try to get my pieces down to the raw wood.

With our small dresser, we left some of the old turquoise paint, just because we like it!


I found that the oven cleaner was much easier to use than traditional wood stripper.

Easy Off or a generic brand both work.

Leave the oven cleaner on at least 30 minutes.

Scrub it off with a bucket of soapy water, or use a power washer.

It still takes effort, of course. But the process seemed to move along much quicker, and with less elbow grease!

Let me know in the comments if you’re going to try a project with oven cleaner.

Thanks so much for stopping by Free Range Cottage today. See you again soon!


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