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on October 1, 2012
I recently purchased a crib and dresser for cheap from Craigslist. They weren't in the best condition but thought that I could refinish them both, which included sanding down some scratches and staining them a completely different color. In order to do this, the old stain and thick top lacquer must be removed.

I tried sanding, but it was a no go. The current finish was too thick and there were too many curvy details that I couldn't get into with the sandpaper.

Then I tried Klean-Strip stripper. It worked, but I still had to scrape hard to get the varnish/lacquer off, plus it didn't all come off. Additionally, it wasn't going to work for the small detailed areas.

Exasperated, I headed back to the hardware store. I found Minwax Antique Refinisher and thought "what the hey? Lets try it." All you need is some steel wool, hand/face protection (mash, goggles, heavy duty gloves), and you're good to go.

I tried with a drawer at first by just pouring some of the liquid on the wool and started to wipe at the finish. I can't believe how GREAT this worked!! The finish came right off in seconds and I had 4 drawers stripped down to the bare wood in 20 minutes. This is no longer a project that dread, but instead something I know I can handle.

I recommend this to anyone who is daunted by an overwhelming furniture stripping job. Also, to the person who posted about the steel wool getting stuck in the wood, yes this does happen, but its part of the process and easily fixable. Once the finish is removed, take a NEW wool pad with FRESH liquid (not out of the same bowl you've been dipping your other wool in) and wipe down your furniture. It cleans up anything that was left behind.
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on January 9, 2012
Product did NOT remove shellac/laquer mix easy and left a film on the wood, took quite a bit of elbow grease to get it looking ok. Would not buy again.
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on September 4, 2013
Bought to remove refinish cherry antique dining table. Maybe I bought the wrong product but I rubbed as per directions and only was able to remove finish on a small part of table and that took an hour. Disappointed.
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on April 20, 2016
Best product I have found to remove any varnish or polylike product. Must work in small amounts and wipe before dissolved finish has dried or you will have to repeat. Also, don't be afraid to change 0000 steel wool very often as the old varnish that it removes will clog it up and cause it to be spread on the next area of removal
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on October 25, 2009
I started removing the finish from an oak table today using Minwax Antique Refinisher. The original finish was very dark. While it had a semi-glossy finish I'm not sure if it had any varnish or polyurethane on it. The directions say you're not supposed to use it on surfaces with polyurethane.

I followed the directions and immediately began to see the clear refinisher turn brown as it lifted the finish as well as the stain. I was surprised but glad to see that it began to remove the dark stain. Some might not like that but but you have to apply a LOT more pressure to the steel wool pad to remove a lot of the stain.

I think the price is awfully expensive though. I'm about halfway through doing the table's leaf and I'll use at least the whole can to just finish that. I estimate I'll use another four cans to finish the 48" diameter table. Perhaps I'm using a lot more because I'm going after the stain too. It says the ingredients are primarily acetone and methanol and you could those for about half the $17 it cost me for a can of the Minwax product.

I see someone had a problem with this product and I'll follow up with my experience after I finish the table...probably two or three weeks as I'm only able to work on it one day a week.
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on May 20, 2011
This was recommended in the CMP article on Garand stock refinishing. Prior to using this I heated the stock pieces in an oven at 170 degrees and about every 30 minutes I wiped off the Cosmoline that oozed to the surface using a paper towels and denatured alcohol. After about a dozen or so wipe downs, I then made whitening; a mixture of white chalk and Acetone, and coated the entire stock. After the Acetone evaporated (overnight) back into the oven it went at 200 degrees for several hours. Then I brushed off the dried chalked which had soaked up most of the last remaining Cosmo.

The final step was to use Minwax Antique Furniture Refinisher. I was skeptical about what it would do since I was now down to bare wood (or so I thought). All I can say is "wow!". This stuff removed that last bit of grease, grime and Cosmoline from the wood. I used half of the can to do all three pieces of the stock. After it dried I sanded with 220 grit and blew everything off with compressed air. The wood looks great now.

My only complaint is the awful smell it leaves in the wood. The wood smells like an old lady all perfumed up and ready for the bingo hall. OK for antique furniture I guess, but not OK for the greatest battle implement ever devised. I'm going to try sanding with 320 grit and then a good wipe down (washing?) with mineral spirits to see if I can get rid of the odor.

Final step will be multiple coats of boiled Linseed oil, followed by several coats of Tung oil, following by a couple coats of Spar varnish, followed by gunstock wax. This product would get 5 stars if it weren't for the smell it leaves in the wood.
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on January 4, 2013
I'm in the process of refinishing a 40 year old credenza with both solid and veneered walnut. I needed to strip a thick layer of lacquer off along with a dark stain that was added by a previous owner. Sanding was not an option for fear of gouging the veneer, and apply-and-wait type strippers are so messy, require a "washing" stage, and can often damage veneered surfaces.

The Minwax Refinisher does work with a lot of elbow grease. You also need to work a small section at at a time. A 6"x6" area feels like an accomplishment...until you see the remaining square feet you have left to go. It leaves a nice, clean finish behind which allows for light sanding stages. If you have a large piece to do, be prepared to spend lots or look elsewhere. This stuff doesn't go very far at all. I'm nearing 4 cans to do a credenza...making my cheap furniture find not so cheap.

In the end, the Minwax product works. It just requires a lot of time, effort, and money. Speaking of money, I can't imagine how much Minwax is losing that they feel a need to put a second "proof of purchase" cap under the actual twist to turn cap. Be careful when trying to remove this penny-wise, pound-foolish solution to product tampering.
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on October 23, 2015
Works well. It's strong so just makes sure you work in a well ventilated area.
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on January 27, 2015
works great :)
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on October 29, 2015
Good
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