Introductions: A gray cabinet named “Bellanca”

This little miss, tested my patience more than any piece in the history of Knack. I am not even kidding you. I purchased it from one of my antique buddies based on a photograph {and a lot of trust!}….and don’t get me wrong…. it is a great piece…. but it had hidden demons.

I knew the piece would have to be stripped down due to the lovely “smear job” that it wore in its current state…..and stripping with Citristrip is usually a piece of cake….but not today folks!

I stripped this piece 4 times. Yes…..4. I learned much through this stripping job that I will take away with me. First of all, the top layer came off like frosting on a cake {normal} but then that bottom white layer was not to be messed with. I soon realized that I had to work with the stripper while it was really wet, because once it dried {even a little bit} it became one with the paint and hardened like glass. I was stumped because I have never come across this before…..but I then figured out I was dealing with a factory finish that was like resin. It was the only answer that I could come up with…and it fits the era of the piece. This finish was baked on baby!

Anyway….I did not give up……I persevered……not to say that I didn’t moan and complain as I purchased multiple bottles of Citristrip, after wash, ruined brushes, and stepped in goo for about three days! I literally felt like a new woman when I rolled up all that mess and began painting! Whew! In the end the most beautiful blonde wood was revealed, and a painting surface that was as smooth as I’ll get out. Painting this piece was a breeze…as the paint just slipped right on.

And…….this is what she looks like now. Worth it for sure. In fact, she has already been scooped up and carted off to her new home before I could get her in the etsy shop.

My job is done for today.




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15 thoughts on “Introductions: A gray cabinet named “Bellanca”

  1. Boy do I feel your pain. I had a kitchen table that sat in my garage for 3 months while I painfully stripped with Kleanstrip and had the awfullest results. I finally had success with Citristrip but not after going through countless bottles of the other kind. It was a hard lesson learned but oh so worth it the end. The grey finish on your piece is gorgeous paired with those knobs!

    • Allison..Thank you!….yes…stripping wood can be crazy. I did use Citristrip the whole time…I have just never had to work so hard to get a finish off! Citristrip still worked amazing though and I would still pick it every time over a harsh chemical stripper. Glad your piece turned out well!

  2. Ahhh frustrating but the end result is so worth it! Good on you for persevering Barb!! I may or may not be procrastinating doing exactly this right now haha. Layers of paint and then wood stain underneath. Yeuk.

    • Thank you Ollie! I am like you and try to avoid stripping furniture whenever possible….but sometimes it just has to be done. I am proud of you for not taking the easy way out! Good on ya! xo

  3. In the 60’s and the 70’s they made “plastic”paint….impossible to get off. My mother used this, in avocado green of course, on her childhood dresser. I wonder if that is what you were dealing with.

    • Katy, I did some research and this is definitely the type of thing I was dealing with… was a type of resin paint that was factory applied. I did get it off….but I will think twice about purchasing or stripping another piece like it :}

  4. Oh Barb, when you said you felt like a new woman when you rolled up the mess…how true!!!
    This brought back memories of a piece I worked on for someone and the smell of Citristrip made me cringe for months after!!! This piece is spectacular…as always!!!!!

    • Deborah….Thank you! Yes……I said those very words to my husband!! No furniture stripping for a while! :}……and I need to learn to fall in love with Citristrip again…but right now it is like when I was pregnant and could not smell certain smells without gagging……..yeah, that’s where we are at! hah!

    • Thanks MJ! The source for the great knobs is Knack :} Just let me know if you would like to purchase some!

  5. Barb, I’ve lived through similar situations and I’m a much stronger woman for it :) One thing I found is that the aerosol CitriStrip worked much better on the the tough stuff (the gloppy stuff that hardened if it wasn’t removed practically immediately) than the bottled CitriStrip did. And yes I did discover that it needed to be stripped in a much shorter time period than the instructions suggested.