When you land a fabulous find it can be a bit scary to just get going. Using caustic materials can be intimidating but if you use the right protection and ventilation you'll be fine!
I found this little table at a yard sale for $6; it really had seen a better day. But as they say, 'it had bones' and cute hardware.
I had no plan in place but knew I needed to strip the little table of its remaining varnish.
Supply list: Use the right product (if you are stripping a piece of painted furniture use lacquer remover, etc) I purchased: 'varnish remover' (ACE Hardware, about $10); a heavy duty pair of rubber gloves; steel wool.
You can buy a plastic scraper but I just cut the lid from a margarine tub in half so I had two 1/2 circle scrapers. remove the hardware and USE YOUR EYE PROTECTION because you could accidentally flip a bit into your eyes and that would not be pleasant.
Follow the instructions on the can of varnish remover and be sure you are away from an ignitable source (furnace pilot light) and that the windows and doors are open!
Once your surface starts to bubble just start scraping it off. Do NOT use anything metal as a scraper but you can use a tooth brush to get into small grooves and the steel wool to really grab the hard to get to areas.
I used the margarine tub to scrape the gunk into it.
here's how it looks today...
I've decided this little table may still be a work in progress because of the almond color I think it looks a little 70's-ish. I am not quite ready to do another step but it is likely to be a distress hit on it by sanding around the edges, etc...but that can wait.