How to Remove an Oil-Based Polyurethane Wood Finish

What You'll Need
Oil-based polyurethane stripper
Rubber gloves
Safety goggles
Metal scraper
Fine sandpaper

To remove an oil-based polyurethane wood finish, you have to make certain to purchase oil-based polyurethane stripper, not water-based stripper. Removing the old finish can revive your wooden furniture, cabinets or floors; you will be left with naked wood to be treated with a new finish.

Step 1 - Observe Safety Measures

Before you apply the stripper, put on your safety gear, rubber gloves and safety goggles. Be certain to open a window for ventilation. The fumes are very strong, and proper air flow is vital.

Step 2 - Apply the Polyurethane Stripper

Use a paintbrush to apply the stripper. Make certain you distribute it evenly over the surface.

Step 3 - Remove the Polyurethane

Use the scraper to take off the polyurethane; go with the grain. Scrape until the last of the oil-based polyurethane is gone, and you are left with exposed wood.

Step 4 - Sand the Surface

Now use the sandpaper on the exposed wood; sand the surface until it is absolutely smooth. In addition to creating a smooth surface, sanding will also get rid of any oil-based polyurethane that is left.