The fireplace in the Living Room was our first wood stripping project. We used a commercial stripping product to get the paint off. Our first attempt using foam brushes to apply the stripping agent was only partially successful. The stripping agent ate through the foam brush fairly quickly. A standard paint brush ended up working much better for us.
After the first application we got some of the bubbling of the paint, making the removal that much easier. Unfortunately this was not uniform, so when we got to scraping, some paint cam off and other paint did not.
This is a picture of the mantel midway through the stripping process. It would take countless hours more to get all the paint out of the cracks. Even a surprisingly simple feature like this can be a big challenge to refinish.
Here is Chrissy applying the stain. We chose a darker stain which she called "redish" colored. This partially disguised the fact that the grain of the original wood was not so distinct. After applying two coats of stain we put a final coat of polyurethane.
We'll show a picture of the finished product once the painters tape comes off.