Using Easy Off Oven Cleaner on Wood Furniture- Does It Work?
Have you heard about the latest trend in furniture refinishing? It’s using easy off oven cleaner on wood furniture. Yes, over cleaner to strip wood. Being the frugal, furniture-flipping, obsessed girl that I am, as soon as I saw this method to strip solid wood, I knew the furniture piece I could try this on. A pair of spindle beds for the boys!
I’ve been meaning to remove the old finish for years (yikes..) but have been avoiding it because spindles take a long time to refinish using other chemical strippers. I’ve used different methods to strip wood; however, this is my first attempt using easy off. Let’s see if the oven cleaner method works and turns out to be a quick project and the easiest way to remove old wood stain.
Using Easy Off Oven Cleaner to Strip Wood
In this blog post, I’m sharing how to use the oven cleaner method to strip wood furniture and get oven cleaner off wood using your water hose. We’ll determine if the oven cleaner method works on wood veneer. I’ll give my advice about using the oven cleaner method as a paint stripper and so much more!
Disclaimer: Please remember that I love diy projects and I am a DIY enthusiast, not a professional. This article is for general information use and is not a substitute for professional advice. Before taking any actions, consult a professional! Additionally, this may contain affiliate links where I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using my link. All opinions and recommendations are my own. I appreciate you taking my suggestions and using my links. Thank you for being so supportive!
How to Use Easy Off Oven Cleaner on Wood Furniture
Using the easy off oven cleaner to strip wood method is pretty straightforward. But, it’s easy to say that now that I have done it.
You may have some of the same questions I did, like:
- How thick do I apply the oven cleaner and
- When do I wash it off
- Do I need to work the oven cleaner in by scrubbing it
I’m going to answer these questions, plus many more you may have about using oven cleaner to strip wood. Here are the steps I used to strip old stain from wood using oven cleaner.
And stick around until the end of this post because I will share a video tutorial of these exact directions.
Follow These Easy Off Oven Cleaner Directions
- Clean– With a damp cloth, I wiped everything down.
- Set up- Do this outside! Even the blue oven cleaner can, which says fragrance-free, stinks!
- Apply– Shake and spray a generous amount of oven cleaner onto the wood. It took me two to three coats of the oven cleaner.
- Wait– Let the oven cleaner go to work- I let the blue can sit for close to an hour and the yellow can for no more than thirty minutes.
- Keeping in mind, I’m working with solid wood spindle beds. After having use the oven cleaner method a few times now, I would not recommend this approach for wood veneer.
- Scrub- For best results I suggest using a scrub brush or pot scrubber and warm water and give your furniture piece a good scrub before rinsing with a water hose.
- I did not do this step, but afterwards determined this would help remove even more old stain and leave you with a natural wood look.
- Rinse– Since I’ll take any opportunity to use the power washer, that’s what I used, but I don’t think it’s necessary when using oven cleaner to strip wood.
- Using a bucket of water or a garden hose is another way to remove the oven cleaner. Whichever approach you take, keep in mind you’ll need a lot of water to remove all the coat of oven cleaner.
The Next Day
- Dry– I left these outside overnight to dry before moving on to sanding.
- Sand– There are many good things about using oven cleaner to strip wood and how little sanding remains is one of them.
- Due to the ornate detail, trying to sand these spindles would have been a nightmare, but since the oven cleaner did all the work, the amount of sanding remaining was minimal.
- I used 60 grit sanding block to smooth out areas where the oven cleaner and power washer roughed up the wood.
- Clean– I used a dry cloth to wipe and remove any sanding dust.
Finishing Touches (Optional Steps)
- Topcoat– I debated if I should apply a protective coat after using oven cleaner to strip wood.
- I was hesitant because I’ve had past experiences where I’ve put so much time into stripping layers down to natural wood to only have it ruined by the finishing cost.
- I knew I was not going to poly these since, in my experience, poly pulls out the orange in wood and I’m going for more of a raw wood finish.
- And since these will be in a bedroom and not likely to get wet- I thought about leaving it as is, but then I remembered wax!
- Waxing– I’ve used Behr antique dark wax on other furniture pieces, but I’ve never tried the white, so what better project to try it on since I was going for a light wood look.
- This white wax gave this project the exact finish I was looking for, but it didn’t come without a little extra work (ok, a lot of extra work, but it was seriously SO worth it).
- I applied a layer using this special waxing brush, buffed it off with a clean cotton cloth, and lightly sanded it using 220 grit sandpaper.
- The white wax completely neutralized the orange-ish-red-ish color of the wood, and it also highlighted the wood grain and gave the wood a smoother, more finished appearance.
The Mistake I made When Using Easy Off Oven Cleaner on Wood Furniture
My mistake was that I should have scrubbed the oven cleaner into the wood surface.
Instead, I just let it soak and then immediately rinsed it off. Based on my results, I suggest using a scrub brush or pot scrubber and warm soapy water (a couple of drops of dawn dishwashing soap will do) and giving your entire piece a good scrub before rinsing with your garden hose.
Since this was my first time using oven spray, I did not do this step but afterward decided this would help remove even more old stain. I think this may have reduced the total number of cans I needed to use on my spindle beds.
Oven Cleaner to Strip Wood Before and After
The before and after using oven cleaner on wood pictures that I have to show you don’t totally do the results justice. First, I was too impatient to wait for the sun to go behind a cloud, so the images could be better.
Next, the wood is very wet in these images, which skews the results. Again, I was too impatient to wait for the wood to dry before taking my pics.
Considering these things, look at the wood spindle bedframe before and notice how dark and shiny the wood is. Then, after the oven cleaner method, see how the wood appears more rustic, lighter, and closer to a natural wood tone.
To further enhance the look of these bed frames, I applied a white wax, which you’ll see as you scroll down.
The white wax was a pain in the rump to use around all the spindles, but it was worth it! The finish resembles a white oak bed that buying from a store would have cost me thousands.
Does the Easy Off Oven Cleaner Method Work
Yes! Yes, it does. And it’s incredibly effective when working on a project that has fine, ornate details, like the detail of my wooden bed spindles.
Having used many stripping methods and sanding techniques on other furniture projects, I knew there was no way these techniques would work on my wooden bed spindles.
Let me rephrase that… these methods would work, but they would take a lot of time and effort, and I know my limits and don’t have the patience for this! That’s why the oven cleaner method was so perfect for this project.
But, I don’t recommend this for all furniture stripping projects for a few reasons. That’s because there are plenty of other cost-effective approaches to use. You can learn my tried-and-true wood furniture stripping method in this post called the Refinishing Furniture Essentials.
If you’re itching to try the oven cleaner method (like I was), then I’d suggest starting with a flat surface and smaller projects. Flat areas such as the top of a table is one idea. Another thought is using oven cleaner to strip cabinets.
When NOT to Use Easy Off Oven Cleaner on Wood Furniture
This method of stripping furniture is ideal for pieces made of solid wood, so do not use easy off on wood veneer. Oven cleaner will eat right through the veneer, leaving you with nothing but the ugly underneath.
Another time to use something other than oven cleaner on wood is if you are trying to strip through layers of old paint.
I haven’t tried it yet, but based on how this project went, I bet it would take excessive oven cleaner to strip paint (even chalk paint) off wood furniture. Especially if there are many layers of paint on your furniture piece, which there usually are!
Lastly, a can of easy-off oven cleaner does not go as far as you’d think, so I would not use this method if I were working on a larger piece of furniture.
The Truth About Using Easy Off Oven Cleaner on Wood Furniture
- This stuff stinks- do it outside.
- They are not kidding when they say heavy-duty- the yellow can (aka heavy-duty oven cleaner) is much stronger, so don’t leave it on nearly as long.
- The heavy-duty spray went on clear, and the blue can oven cleaner was more white- don’t worry about the heavy-duty being clearer; it’s on there and working!
- A power washer is not necessary- a hose would be just fine, especially when using the heavy-duty oven cleaner to strip wood.
- Either way, there is excess water flying around and you’re going to get wet so wear old clothes.
- Sanding is still required- but it’s much less intensive.
- I did not use any mineral spirits or other chemicals to neutralize the easy off. Maybe something to look into to be sure the oven cleaner doesn’t continue to eat away at the wood.
- Consider yourself warned- this is not a lot of work, it’s quite a simple process, so you many find using the oven cleaner method is highly addictive!
My Experience Using Easy Off Oven Cleaner on Wood Furniture
Using over cleaner to strip wood was easy and inexpensive, and I’m already looking for a different type of wood I can use this technique on!
I am curious how this would work on something like a large buffet, an entire table (dining table project anyone?!), or maybe a smaller piece like a little table for my living room.
I highly recommend using oven cleaner to strip wood, especially for ornate details, wood legs, or spindles.
Using Easy Off Oven Cleaner on Wood Furniture Video Tutorial
I recently share this tutorial on my instagram stories and it was such a hit I wanted to be sure to include it here! A few summers ago, at a local barn sale (which is just like a thrift store, garage sale. or antique store), I snagged these twin spindle bed sets for $10 (total!).
They were in rough shape, but that didn’t deter me from knowing I had just hit the bed frame jackpot. These were solid wood, and to buy something similar new would cost me closer to $2000.
So, why not give the oven cleaner method a shot?! I figured this would be my best option, and if it didn’t work out, it wouldn’t be a huge loss. I figured if all else failed, there was always paint.
You asked about using the oven cleaner method on wood furniture and I delivered! I hope you feel more confident about using this wood furniture stripping method now that I’ve covered all the essentials.
Your opinion matters to me, share in the comments what you think about using easy off oven cleaner on wood furniture!