Stripping furniture is not for the faint of heart. It’s usually messy and can take a long time. After seeing Easy-Off furniture hacks on TikTok, where oven cleaner is used to strip wood, I decided to try it by stripping mirrors. Since the wooden framed mirrors would be a quick project, it was an ideal way to experiment using Easy-Off Oven Cleaner to strip furniture.
We have been working on a home remodel, both inside and out, for the past year. As we’ve wrapped up most of the main projects, we are decorating room-by-room to create a homey peaceful haven for our family.
We’ve used a lot of the furniture we already had but have painted, refinished, or stripped the finish to natural wood. We have become slightly obsessed with DIY refinishing furniture projects and thrifting furniture pieces. For this project, using Oven Cleaner, we stripped wooden mirrors with a solid dark wood trim we found on Facebook marketplace down to natural wood.
Although I don’t enjoy stripping furniture because of the tedious work, the finished project is always worth the effort.
What is the easiest way to strip furniture?
I’m unsure if there are any “easy” ways to strip furniture as so many variants exist to consider. Easy-Off Oven Cleaner Fume Free worked wonderfully on this project of stripping mirrors. The advantage of using oven cleaner to strip wood is that it removes stains on areas of furniture with fine details and can make stripping larger pieces less time-consuming. Additionally, using a stripping agent and scraping the furniture isn’t necessary when using oven cleaner.
Tip: Check out this how-to guide to stripping furniture with Oven Cleaner on Wood for more info about Easy Off Oven Cleaner
What is Easy-Off Oven Cleaner?
Easy-Off Oven Cleaner is a branded product for cleaning ovens. It is available in aerosol cans and spray bottles and is applied to the inside of a range to clean, degrease, and remove stains or baked-on foods. Because of Easy-Off’s ability to get rid of stains and baked-on foods, it is an excellent option for stripping the finish and stain from solid wood furniture. There are several different types of Easy Off.
- Easy-Off Fume Free Oven Cleaner
- Easy-Off Heavy Duty Oven Cleaner
- Professional Easy-Off Heavy Duty Oven Cleaner
- Professional Easy-Off Fume Free Oven Cleaner
- Easy-Off BBQ Grill Cleaner
For this project, I used Easy-Off Fume Free Oven Cleaner.
Will Easy-Off remove stains from wood?
Easy-Off works well on solid wood to strip the stain in many cases. Certain finishing products and stains make using oven cleaner to strip wood ineffective. I recommend spraying Easy-Off on an inconspicuous place on your project to test first. I recommend avoiding family heirloom furniture, antiques, and veneers.
Will Easy-Off strip paint?
While some have successfully used Easy-Off oven cleaner as a paint remover, there seem to be very mixed results. I tested it on a painted piece of furniture, and it did not work. Citristrip appears to work much better if stripping paint. Using oven cleaner to strip solid stained wood seems to work best. I do not recommend oven cleaner to remove paint.
What do you strip furniture with?
There are several methods and tons of products used for stripping furniture. I have used various techniques, including Easy-off Fume Free Oven Cleaner, Citristrip Gel, a heat gun, and good old sandpaper.
How do you strip detailed furniture?
The hardest part of stripping furniture is stripping the highly detailed areas of the project. Oven cleaner to strip wood in these complex areas seems to work best. Other methods require some sort of tool to scrape the paint, stain, or finish, making detailed areas more difficult. I use a soft-bristled scrub brush when scrubbing Easy-Off oven cleaner. The scrub brush makes those areas more manageable.
Tip: If stripping detailed painted furniture, a scrub brush and mineral oil work well after stripping with Citristrip.
Materials Needed to REFINISH MIRRORS:
- Easy-Off Fume-Free Oven Cleaner (you can try Easy-Off Heavy Duty or even Dollar Tree oven cleaner) – Use the oven cleaner as your stripping agent.
- Warm soapy water – Best product to use is Dawn Platinum. This soap works on everything.
- Soft bristle scrub brush – You may get better results by using multiple shapes and sizes of scrub brushes.
- Tarp – There is potential paint, stain, or finish water runoff.
- Water hose – A hose will work best to ensure you have enough water pressure to rinse away all of the oven cleaner.
- Gloves (not required), eye protection, and clothes you don’t mind ruining as stripping furniture can be a messy project.
Step by step Process of using Easy-Off to strip furniture
For furniture DIY makeovers, I prefer the most simple and effective method, which differs depending on the piece of furniture. Below is a quick guide to learn more about the process and my results when using Easy Off oven cleaner on furniture to strip the stain.
As I mentioned earlier, we found two solid heavy oak mirrors for this furniture makeover project on Facebook marketplace. Since it would be a small and quick project, we used Easy-Off Fume Free Oven Cleaner.
Originally we planned to strip them down to natural wood to hang above the nightstands on each side of our bed in the master bedroom. After stripping the mirrors to natural wood, we realized they did not work with our whitewashed natural wood nightstands. Instead, we placed one of the mirrors in our foyer above a white chalk-painted console table for a more cohesive look.
Step One; Start with a clean surface by using a vinegar and water solution to cut dirt and grime, followed by a clean, dry cloth to dry the surface of the wood. There are several other methods and solutions for preparing wood before stripping that I have listed below:
Methods for cleaning furniture before painting or stripping:
- Dish soap, warm water, and a sponge work and are simple.
- Clean with a 1:1 vinegar and water solution. I’ve seen other options online of 1:3 and 1:4 of vinegar and water.
- Krud Kleaner is a water-based solution that degreases, removes stains, and cleans. It can be used inside and outside the home, making it a multi-purpose cleaner not just for furniture.
- TSP Cleaner & Degreaser – highly concentrated multipurpose cleaner. Make sure to wear appropriate gloves when using this product.
Step 2: Spray the wood trim on the mirrors with oven cleaner and let them sit for approximately 20 minutes in the shade. This will keep the sun from drying the Easy-Off too quickly. The Easy-Off oven cleaner will bubble as it is sprayed onto the wood.
Tip: Do not let the oven cleaner sit for too long on the wood. If it dries, you could have a sticky mess on your hands.
Step 3: Give the oven cleaner approximately 20 minutes to work. Then, use a soft bristle dish scrubber and warm soapy water to scrub the wood. You will notice as you scrub that the finish and stain begin to come off. When stripping mirrors, work around scrubbing every part of the exposed wood.
Step 4: Hose down the wood with a garden hose. Once the oven cleaner is thoroughly washed off the wooden trim on the mirrors, leave them out to dry for at least two hours in the sun. The water causes the wood grain to rise, giving the wood a weathered rough look. The sun will further lighten the wood as it dries.
Step 5: On this piece, I hurried the scrubbing process too quickly, and several spots of stain were still a bit heavy on the wood trim. I used sandpaper to strip the remaining stain down to the unfinished wood. Each project creates an opportunity to learn more about the stripping process.
What kind of sander / Sandpaper did I Use for the Finished Stripped Mirror?
I chose to use my 20v Worx Sandeck 5 in 1 Multi Sander for this part since I was unhappy with the stained wood color. 150 grit sandpaper was coarse enough to remove the leftover stain and finish. The final sand of the mirrors also lightened the wood up nicely.
I love the finished product of the mirrors completely stripped to natural wood! This was a well-spent $30 for both mirrors as they were heavy solid wood.
The project took about an hour and a half of hands-on work and a couple of hours waiting for the oven cleaner to work and the mirror to dry. Give this project a try. Let me know how your furniture refinish project goes!