Citristrip FAIL

In college I had a kitchen table and four chairs that I painted black, which at the time seemed like a good idea. It has been in storage the last five years because I haven’t had the space in my condo. Now that we are moving into a new {grown-up} place, it’s probably time we stop eating on the sofa and on an hard surface.


We don’t anticipate being in our new place very long, so the table is just temporary until we are in our forever home and have the time and money to find a table we love. In the meantime, I figured I would stain the black college table a “mature” dark walnut. I googled many different solutions to removing paint from wood and repeatedly saw Citristrip. According to everything I read, you paint on the Citristrip gel, let it simmer for a bit, and then take a plastic scraper and the paint magically peels right off – hah!

Lucky for me, I’m engaged to my very own Ty Pennington who graciously helped (AKA is still wondering how he got roped into this) me with this project. He layered on the Citristrip and then went on a run (because that’s what you have to do when you’re on a wedding diet and you accidentally eat pizza and a milkshake the night before) while it worked its magic…


I honestly think I ran faster because I was so excited to come back and see the table. In my imagination, the paint had already begun to peel itself off, leaving very little for us to actually do once we got back. Again….hah! Matt began to scrape the paint, and it wouldn’t even budge.

This picture shows the progress that was made after thirty solid minutes of Matt scraping with all of his might. We even used a metal scraper instead of plastic like the bottle suggested. Such a bummer!



We decided to put on another really thick coat and let it sit for another 30 minutes. We came back outside, and again, no progress had really been made. A few hours and $40 down the drain, this is what the table looks like. At least you can see some wood now, right?



We both were really frustrated that the product didn’t work like it did in all of the YouTube videos we watched. Our next plan of attack is to borrow an electric sander (Thanks Smit family!) and go that route.  Right now the couch and coffee table doesn’t look so bad. As always, we are very open to suggestions!


3 thoughts on “Citristrip FAIL

  1. Just leave the base black. That will be a bear to strip with all the little nooks and crannies.

    My suggestion is to skirt it to the floor with a fab piece of fabric and put a plexiglass top on it.

  2. Pingback: $25 Upcycled Table | The Dilworth Darling

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