Friday, September 8, 2023

Protecting Your Pet from Indoor Air Pollution


We all cherish our beloved pets and prioritize their well-being, don't we? When it comes to selecting products for our homes, it's important to remember that our furry companions are more vulnerable to airborne and surface residue chemicals. Indoor air pollution can significantly affect the health of our pets. Let's explore some of the most prevalent sources of pollution and discover ways to eliminate or reduce their impact

Indoor air pollution poses a significant concern in every modern home. In fact, the air indoors often harbors a mixture of pollutants originating from numerous sources. Since our pets are typically smaller than humans and tend to spend more time indoors, they are especially vulnerable to the health issues that indoor air pollution can trigger. Being conscious of the origins of these contaminants and understanding how to mitigate them is a crucial step toward enhancing indoor air quality and safeguarding your pets' health.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Numerous household items contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), substances that easily evaporate into the air. You can find these compounds in furnishings, solvents, aerosols, cleaning products, air fresheners, adhesives, sealants, pesticides, and dry cleaning chemicals.

In both dogs and cats, VOCs have the potential to induce eye, nasal, and throat irritation, provoke skin reactions, trigger headaches, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. In more serious instances, exposure to VOCs may even lead to organ damage and an increased risk of cancer. Although the likelihood of encountering such severe consequences in a typical, well-maintained household is low, this underscores the hazardous nature of these chemicals.

Safer Options

The most straightforward method for reducing airborne VOC concentrations is to ensure proper and consistent ventilation. When weather conditions permit, open windows to allow fresh air circulation and remain cautious when using cleaning or removal products in your home. Pay special attention to heavy-duty removal products, as they may contain higher levels of VOCs that can be harmful if used without appropriate personal protective equipment. When tackling demanding removal tasks, consider opting for low VOC formulas such as Max Strip to help minimize VOC emissions. LOW VOC REMOVAL PRODUCTS

The simplest way to lower the concentrations of VOCs in the air 
is to ensure good, regular ventilation.

Naturally-occurring microbes

Mold, mildew, bacteria, and dust mites thrive in moist environments, and the airborne spores and waste products they release can pose health risks to both humans and animals.

Molds, mildew, and bacteria exposure can lead to symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, eye or nasal discharge, lethargy, paw licking, loss of appetite, and noisy or labored breathing. In addition, animals can develop allergies to house dust mites, which may manifest as itching, skin issues, and recurrent ear infections.

Safer Options

The most effective approach to maintaining low levels of mold, mildew, and bacteria in your home is to focus on reducing indoor humidity. Consider hanging your laundry outdoors or using a dryer that vents outside. Regularly empty drip trays in dryers and dehumidifiers, and change the water in AC units daily. Be vigilant in checking for pipe leaks or dripping taps.

For visible mold growth, ensure you clean it away promptly. To minimize dust, which is essential for dust mites to thrive, use a vacuum equipped with an HEPA filter. This not only helps reduce dust mites and their waste but also captures other airborne contaminants like pollen, smoke, spores, and soot.

Soft toys and other items that can’t be washed can be placed in a plastic bag in the freezer for 
24 to 48 hours to kill dust mites.

Carbon Monoxide

There is also a potential risk of carbon monoxide exposure from appliances that utilize gas, coal, oil, or wood as their fuel source, such as furnaces, generators, fireplaces, wood burners, and motor vehicles that may be operating in nearby garages.

Carbon monoxide poses a severe threat to the health of dogs, cats, and humans alike. It can be fatal when present in high concentrations, but even low-level exposure can result in symptoms such as drowsiness, lethargy, shortness of breath, and even loss of consciousness.

Safer Options

Carbon monoxide is a silent threat to both pets and people, making it crucial to install alarms near furnaces and other heating appliances. Ensure that wood burners are adequately sealed and avoid burning timber that has undergone chemical treatment. It's essential to regularly service and maintain furnaces and heating systems, even if they are new. Additionally, keep chimneys well-swept and flues in good condition, conducting frequent checks for any cracks.

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer of both pets and people, making it crucial to install alarms 
near furnaces and other heating appliances.

While it's impossible to eliminate all indoor air pollution, taking steps to reduce it to acceptable levels is feasible. Being mindful of the chemicals you introduce into your home, maintaining cleanliness by reducing clutter, and ensuring proper room ventilation are all crucial in ensuring clean air for both you and your pets to breathe.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Home Improvements: When Should You Do-It-Yourself?


Trying to reduce costs by tackling your own home improvement projects? A do-it-yourself project can be an empowering way to save money and put your own personal touch on your home, provided you know what you're doing. But making even one simple mistake could put a strain on your back or your bank account. Often, it's best to put safety first by planning ahead, taking extra precautions, or when needed save the job for a professional.

Here are a few types of home improvement projects that are best left to the experts.

1. Plumbing or electrical projects
There's a reason these are skilled trades. Both systems are complex, no matter how straightforward a repair may initially appear. Even small leaks can cause serious water damage, and faulty electrical wiring can lead to a house fire. Don't risk flooding or electric shock. Leave these types of improvements to a plumber or an electrician to make sure these jobs are done right the first time.

2. Renovations with possible code violations

Structural changes require a licensed contractor. Not only can shoddy craftsmanship severely affect your home's value, but it can also put your family in danger. Accidentally removing a load-bearing wall, for example, could cause an entire room to collapse. Why take the risk?

3. Repairs involving high heights

More than 130,000 ladder-related injuries are treated in emergency rooms each year. Whether you're looking at a roof repair or trimming a tree, consider calling a professional before attempting to complete the job yourself.

Remember, just because a DIY project looks simple doesn't necessarily mean it's safe. When in doubt err on the side of caution, plan ahead, and when needed leave it for a professional.

Want to find a home improvement project that is truly DIY friendly? Try one of these wallet-friendly and easy DIY projects for a new look, added home value, or just the sprucing up you've been looking for.

Here are some types of do it yourself home improvement projects that can be done safely with a little planning and knowledge.  


1. Save the popcorn for the movies

What's on your ceiling? Few structural elements date a house more than popcorn ceilings. So dedicate some time to ditching the dated look and adding dollar signs to the value of your home. This is a project you can tackle yourself. Max Strip Popcorn Ceiling Remover is the number one DIY friendly remover for painted drywall textures on our list find it here then simply scrape the popcorn away. Removing a popcorn ceiling may not seem like a big change but one of the keys for adding value to your home is to repair, replace or remove anything that could turn buyers away.

Here's a quick How To remove painted textures with Max Strip! 

2. Refinish your flooring 

Installing a new hardwood floor can be a big expensive project and require a professional. So refinish existing hardwood for a less time/cost-consuming project. No matter whether you decide to strip or sand your floors refinishing will always be more DIY friendly over replacing! Larger floor sanders can be rented from your local hardware store or if you chose to strip off that old tired finish be sure to use a safe stripper the number one DIY friendly remover on our list is EZ Strip Paint & Varnish Remover find it here once your old finish is off pick a new fresh color to give your home a high value upgrade!

Here's a quick How To refinish stairs with Max Strip! 

3. Cleanliness counts

Make the interior of you home shine from the moment someone walks through the door. Sometimes a top-to-bottom scrubbing is all your home really needs to change the look and feel of any room. Even if you clean your home regularly, there are nooks and crannies that you may miss or overlook. Do a room by room scan and tackle tough removal jobs like dried paint drips/permanent marker mistakes/stickers or tape glue residues/and more with safe cleaners that pack a punch, top on our DIY friendly remover list is EZ Strip All Purpose Remover to really make your home sparkle. Find it here

Here's a quick removal How To with Max Strip!

4. Paint, paint, paint

One of the simplest, most cost-effective DIY home improvements of all is paint! Freshly painted rooms look clean and updated — and that spells value. When selecting paint colors, the world is your oyster get that fresh new look with a DIY friendly paint project! For a longer lasting paint finish start right by prepping the surface.

Here is a quick How To surface prep for paint with Max Strip!

Easy DIY fixes can dramatically change the look or value of your home with a lot less cost but always plan ahead to make sure the project you take on is safe and truly DIY friendly! For more DIY friendly removal project ideas visit Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 11, 2023

The EPA wants to broaden the ban on a deadly chemical on store shelves

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency originally banned the ingredient methylene chloride also known as dichloromethane from consumer use products in 2019. You could find this ingredient before the ban in common consumer products like automotive cleaners and paint strippers. These products can be easily bought without any extra measures taken by retailers to ensure their safe use, although they do include warning labels and usage information. This led to multiple consumer use injuries including severe skin burns, loss of consciousness, and in extreme cases even death. Sadly, at least 85 people have died from methylene chloride since 1980.

While the legislation initially focused on consumer use within the United States, other countries such as Canada took a similar approach at the retailer level by refusing to stock products containing methylene chloride on their shelves. This was done in order to safeguard their customers from potential harm. 

    Unfortunately, workers weren’t protected by the restrictions. 

    And the vast majority of injuries and deaths could be traced to methylene chloride exposure on the job. Now the EPA is proposing to ban most uses of methylene chloride — still with some on-the-job exceptions, but far fewer. The proposed rule would prohibit methylene chloride in all consumer products and most industrial and commercial uses. 

    Beyond the health concerns for consumers and workers, we are seeing a growing concern for the environment surrounding methylene chloride as well. Levels of methylene chloride appear to be rapidly
increasing in the stratosphere, threatening to delay the return to normal of the ozone layer. The ozone layer has been recovering slowly since the Montreal Protocol (1987) banned CFC gases. In 1987, an international agreement was signed to gradually eliminate CFC gases (used in refrigeration and aerosols), responsible for the famous “hole” in this gaseous layer. CFCs have thus been replaced by HFCs (which, however, help to warm the planet).

    Scientists have already expressed concerns about the impact of certain volatile compounds, such as methylene chloride. A recent study aims to assess the harm caused by this product. According to the research, the concentration of methylene chloride in the stratosphere has nearly doubled since 2004. Grant Allen, an atmospheric physicist at the University of Manchester, emphasized the urgency to take immediate action to prevent the release of this chemical into the atmosphere. He stated, "If we wish to preserve the progress made over the past three decades through commendable scientific and political efforts, which undoubtedly have saved numerous lives, we must act now."

Protect as many people as possible

     Liz Hitchcock, the director of Safer Chemicals Healthy Families and a member of Toxic-Free Future, has been tirelessly working for years to halt the harmful effects caused by methylene chloride. She enthusiastically welcomed the announcement of the proposed ban as a significant milestone. If implemented, the ban would prohibit the use of methylene chloride in various applications such as commercial and industrial vapor degreasing, adhesive removal, textile finishing products, liquid lubricants, hobby glue, and numerous other uses.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Atkins

    Joshua Atkins and his mother, Lauren, at a park in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2011. Joshua Atkins died in 2018 at 31 while refinishing his BMX bike with a product containing methylene chloride. 

    “Currently, an estimated 845,000 individuals are exposed to methylene chloride in the workplace,” the EPA said in a statement. “Under EPA’s proposal, less than 10,000 workers, protected from unreasonable risk via a required workplace chemical protection program, are expected to continue to use methylene chloride.”

What can you do?

    The EPA said it hopes the rule will take effect in August 2024. Federal rules must go through a set process to give the public a chance to influence the final outcome. If an agency receives a “Petition for Rulemaking” from a member of the public, it may decide to announce the petition in the Federal Register and accept public comments on the issue. An agency that is in the preliminary stages of rulemaking may publish an “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” in the Federal Register to get more information. The Advance Notice is a formal invitation to participate in shaping the proposed rule and starts the notice‐and‐comment process in motion. Anyone interested (individuals and groups) may respond to the Advance Notice by submitting comments aimed at developing and improving the draft proposal or by recommending against issuing a rule.

    Methylene chloride can still be found in products on retail shelves as aerosol degreasers and brush cleaners for paints and coatings. Adhesives and sealants sold for commercial purposes use it.  And manufacturers tap it to make other chemicals. Making personal purchase decisions to use safer alternatives can keep this chemical out of your home and reduce your impact on the environment. One company that has been manufacturing safer methylene chloride-free paint stripping products for over a decade is Max Strip. Use your purchase power to reduce harmful chemicals like methylene chloride in your home!

Thanks for reading! If you liked this be sure to subscribe to the 
Max Strip Blog today!

Friday, January 13, 2023

House Hold Cleaner Hazards & Indoor Air Quality


Keeping your home clean is one of the most important ways to assure healthy indoor air quality. However, the use of some cleaning products and heavy-duty removers may actually increase indoor air pollution. Fortunately, you can take simple steps to reduce or eliminate the production of these pollutants.

Many cleaning supplies or household products can irritate your eyes or throat and even cause headaches along with other health problems. Some products release dangerous chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 

What Are VOCs? 

VOCs are chemicals that vaporize at room temperature that can enter the body through inhaling. If you have ever cut into a lemon and enjoyed the fresh scent, then you've experienced a natural VOC firsthand! The problem with VOCs is not all are as harmless as a lemon. 

Cleaning supplies and household products containing VOCs and other toxic substances can include, but are not limited to:

Aerosol Spray Removal Products

Cleaners or removers that come in pressurized cans release tiny particles at high speed. This makes it easy to apply but also very easily absorbed by your lungs. Some more toxic VOCs found in pressurized glass and floor cleaners are toluene and formaldehyde. 


An increasing number of people are reporting allergic reactions to fragrances and scents. Avoid air fresheners or heavily scented products. It's time to change our expectations of what clean smells like. A clean space shouldn't have any smell at all! 

Chlorine Bleach

Commonly found in many brand name household products should be used with caution as they can off gas harmful chemicals. Only use in well ventilated areas and never mix bleach or any bleach-containing product with any cleaner containing ammonia. The gases created from this combination can lead to chronic breathing problems and even death.

Oven Cleaners

A common toxic ingredient found in many ‘off the shelf’ oven cleaners is sodium hydroxide. The chemical more commonly known as caustic soda can cause irritation to the eyes and throat, irritate the lungs triggering an asthma attack or cause chronic asthma, and cause severe skin burns. 

Furniture Refinishing Products 

Furniture refinishing products commonly contain a high VOC percentage and are among the most toxic products used in homes and workshops! The active ingredients in most common refinishing products are organic solvents which may damage the skin, eyes, respiratory tract, nervous system, and internal organs. Special precautions must be taken in their use, especially if there are children present who might come in contact with either the material or its vapors. Use safer alternatives whenever possible. 

What Precautions Can I Take When Using Cleaning & Removal Products? 

The most crucial step, is always to read the label. There may be specific requirements, chemicals you cannot use alongside, or surfaces which the product may ruin if you do not read the instructions. Make more informed purchase decisions when buying cleaners and removers. Look for products marked low VOC, fragrance or bleach free, choose products devoid of irritants and flammables.   

Check the Safety Data Sheet (often available with a quick online search) on any product you plan to use before you buy. Always follow safety recommendations, dispose of them appropriately and use common sense. If you are concerned because you have small children or chemical sensitivities, consider alternative products with tested and proven science to back them up.

Safe Cleaning & Removal Options

Many find making your own cleaners with varying combinations of tried and true old standards like baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, sea salt, and more are the safest cleaning alternatives. Truly safe removal alternatives are available as well. One of the safest chemicals in removal products proving to be an effective substitute in removers for refinishing and even oven cleaning is dibasic esters. They are non-flammable, water-soluble, low VOC, readily biodegradable, non-corrosive, and have a mild, fruity odor. One company that is utilizing these innovative chemicals with world-patented technology is Max Strip.

Visit today for safe alternatives to heavy-duty removers! Your home's indoor air quality can greatly affect you and your family's health so make informed choices regarding the cleaning and refinishing products you bring into your home. Your family will thank you!

Thursday, October 6, 2022

A Fresh Look At Old Furniture

Refinishing old wooden furniture can be a creative and rewarding DIY project that provides you with high-quality pieces for your home. Whether you’re restoring a family heirloom or you’ve found a diamond in the rough, the following tips for refinishing wood furniture will help you in your next project. 

If you’re wondering what signs you should look for when deciding to refinish your furniture or if you should restore it at all, there are some initial considerations to look at. The first step should be to look at the unique piece and determine whether it’s worth undertaking a restoration project or not. Ask yourself some of the following questions:

Is the piece painted?

If a piece is painted, there’s usually a reason for it. Owners paint over pieces when they are trying to cover up dents, stains and other imperfections. You might be getting more than you bargained for with a painted wood piece. In some cases, you may be better off choosing a piece that only has varnish on it.

Was the piece built solidly?

Pieces from before the 1960s are generally built from solid wood. Any pieces after that aren’t usually made from solid wood and are instead made from laminates and particleboard. These materials are usually not worth refinishing. On the flip side, older wooden pieces from before 1850 can be quite valuable. If you aren’t sure of a piece’s value, consult an antique expert before starting a refinishing project.

Is it stable or will it need to be re-glued?

Test out the sturdiness of the piece. If it sways from side to side or if it’s uneven or coming apart anywhere, then it will need to be taken apart and re-glued (and held together with a clamp until the glue dries) to ensure it’s stable. Ask yourself if this is a step you’re willing to take. If so, can you do this yourself or will you have to hire an expert to do it? If you’re specifically wondering how to refinish wood dressers, pay attention to the drawers and whether they are holding together properly.

Based on your answers to these questions, you should be able to determine how much of your own sweat equity you’re willing to invest in a furniture restoration project. 

Wood Furniture Refinishing Supplies Checklist

Before getting started on your wooden furniture restoration or refinishing project, it’s important to get all of your supplies in order so you can complete your project more efficiently. Below is a helpful supplies checklist to follow when beginning your next wood furniture refinishing project:
  • Dish soap, sponges and towels
  • Paint stripper
  • Power sander
  • Sandpaper in multiple grits
  • Paint scrapers (plastic or metal)
  • Epoxy putty
  • Wood sealant/Varnish/Polyurethane
  • Wood stain or paint (be sure to pick the correct color)
  • Drop cloths
  • Wax coating product
  • Eye protection
  • Latex gloves
  • Vacuum cleaner
Other supplies that may come in handy include:
  • Paintbrushes
  • Painter’s tape
  • Plenty of clean rags and cloths
  • A bucket for clean water
  • Stir sticks
  • Glue and clamps for repairing and reinforcing furniture if needed

Best Tips for Refinishing Furniture

If you’ve decided that you are going to move forward with refinishing your wood furniture, then there are a few guidelines to follow.

Below are six essential steps that address how to refinish wood furniture and how to strip finished wood:

Step 1: Clean the Piece

The most fundamental step of any furniture refinishing or renewing project is to give the piece in question a good and thorough clean. This is especially true if the piece has been in storage or has been kept outside for an extended time. Additionally, if you don’t know exactly where the piece came from, it’s likely covered in a layer of grime from dust and dirt buildup.

Many people think that using a heavy-duty cleaner will work more effectively on an especially dirty piece. However, the simplest and most effective way to clean the piece and protect it is to simply use a mixture of dish soap and warm water. Most trusted professionals suggest using Dawn or a similar brand of dish detergent to get the job done.

Scrub down the surface using gentle strokes with a soaped-up sponge. Once you’ve scrubbed the surface clean, rinse it off with fresh water using the wrung-out sponge. After the soap has been cleared away, pat the piece dry with a towel.

Step 2: Assess the Furniture’s Current State

Once you’ve cleaned the piece, you’ll have a better idea of the overall scale of the project. If you’re dealing with an especially old piece, you may find there are white rings, paint stains, dents, chips and cracks.

Take an overall assessment of the piece and determine what will need to be done to make these repairs. This will help you determine which supplies you’ll need such as scrapers, epoxy putty and wax filling compound.

Step 3: Remove Old Finish

If you’ve never done so, then you may be wondering how to strip the finish off of wood. There are two main ways to do this. The first way is to sand it off and the second way is to use a chemical stripper:


Caution if your furniture has a thin veneer sanding the finish is not a good option as you can sand right through it and cause difficulty to repair the damage. Also, keep in mind the dust that will be created will cause a lot of extra clean-up. Use coarse sandpaper, a sanding block or a power sander to strip the finish off until the surface is smooth. Once most of the finish is off, switch to medium grit sandpaper to further remove any shine. Finally, finish off with a fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out the wood until all finish is completely removed. 

Chemical Stripper:

Caution carefully research the product you want to use to make sure you are not exposing yourself to harmful chemicals. There are safer chemical stripping options available. Our recommended source for safer chemical stripping options is Max Strip. Chemical stripping products are designed to effortlessly strip the finish off wood. Spread the stripper over the surface of the wood evenly using a paintbrush. Let the stripper sit for the amount of time recommended by the stripping product, when it's ready you can scrape it off. Continue to use a scraper or paint stripping pad for detailed areas until you’ve scraped all the finish off. Be sure to wipe down the wood (Max Strip only requires water while other products may require lacquer thinner) and remove any leftover residue, finish, or wax from the stripper.

Stripping with Max Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper

If you’ve never stripped the finish off of wood before, here are some tips you can follow to make the job safer and easier:
  • Wear protective gear including eye goggles, and gloves.
  • Read the chemical stripper product label before beginning and follow as directed (especially the amount of time to let the stripper sit on the surface of the wood).
  • Use drop cloths or plastic underneath the furniture before sanding or using the chemical stripper.
  • Apply chemical stripper using fast and even brushstrokes as the product will begin to evaporate.
  • Use a brush to get into grooves.
  • Reapply another coat of stripper over the top of any finish that doesn’t remove after 30 minutes of soaking.
  • Let the piece air dry for 24 hours before moving on to the next step.
  • Dispose of the leftover chemical products safely by first checking with your local waste disposal company. (Max Strip product can be disposed of safely in your household garbage)

Step 4: Apply a Coat of Sealant

After you’ve stripped the finish and let the piece fully dry, it’s time to move on to coating. If you’ve used a chemical stripping product, you may need to sand the furniture surface using 120 grit paper to ensure you’ve completely removed any residue.

An optional step is to fill in the grain of your wood furniture to your liking. If your furniture has a tight wood grain, then it won’t need grain filler. However, if your furniture has a more open grain such as with oak or mahogany woods, then you can apply a grain filler. You’ll need to choose the correct grain filling product depending on whether you want to emphasize or de-emphasize the grain and what the desired color will be in the end. Also, check whether the grain filling product should be applied before or after staining.

Finally, you’ll want to seal the wood to prepare it for staining. A sealant product protects the wood and creates a base for the stain to spread more evenly. Apply a thick coat of sealant and allow it to soak into the wood. Wipe off any excess using a clean rag. Once the sealant has dried, sand down the furniture surfaces again with fine-grit sandpaper.

Step 5: Stain or Paint the Wood

The next step after applying the sealant is to stain or paint your wood furniture piece. This is a personal decision, and there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer. When choosing between staining or painting your wood furniture piece consider the following:
  • If the piece is antique, you may not want to paint over it so it can retain its authenticity.
  • If you don’t like the existing color or grain of the wood, then you may prefer it to be painted a different color.
  • If the piece will be used in a high-traffic area, it may be more resistant to damage with a stain and sealant than with paint.
  • If the piece isn’t constructed from high-quality materials, then you may choose to paint it to make it look better.
  • There are several options to choose from when it comes to stains. There are water-based, oil-based or gel stains. There are also products that are a two-in-one stain and finish. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product label before beginning the staining step. There are many colors to choose from so be sure to test the stain color on another piece of wood before applying it to your furniture.
  • Paints also have multiple options to choose from. There are different paint finishes such as oil-based enamel or latex that will provide a durable coating. Follow the instructions on the product label before applying the coat of paint.

Step 6: Apply a Coat of Finish

The last step after staining or painting your wooden furniture piece is to apply a finish coat. There are different finish products to choose from. Your choice will depend on several factors including:
  • The wood furniture look you desire
  • The durability you need
  • The type of wood your furniture is made from
  • How the item will be used and how frequently
  • Your own skill level
Because certain finishes are meant to be sprayed on, they require additional spray tools to get the job done. For beginners and hobbyists, it’s recommended to use finishes you can wipe or brush on.

Once you’ve selected the best finish product for your specific furniture piece, you can add a coat of paste wax to enhance its luster and further protect it from scratches.

Last-Minute Tips on Refinishing Wooden Furniture

Now that you have a better understanding of the process of deciding when to refinish wood furniture and how to do it, here are some helpful tips to consider along the way:

Use Full or Natural Light:

When staining or painting your wood furniture piece, be sure that you’re working in a fully lit space. This will help you to see any drips, runs or missed spots before it’s too late.

Keep Your Workspace Clean:

Throughout the whole furniture refinishing process, remember to keep your workspace as clean as possible. This includes vacuuming up dust after sanding. Dust particles can get trapped on the wood’s surface and get underneath the stains and topcoats. Once you’ve vacuumed the dust, wipe down the wood with a damp cloth before applying the finish.

Stir Products:

Never shake a container of stain or finish. Instead, gently stir the mixture to ensure all ingredients are properly dispersed and not settled at the bottom.

Test the Stain Color:

Don’t rely on what the samples tell you when deciding how the stain will look. Always test the stain first on a discrete area of your furniture before applying it all over. This will prevent any unwanted surprises when you begin to cover the more prominent areas.

Preserving Your Wood Furniture

Once you’ve completed your wood furniture refinishing or restoration project, it’s important to maintain and protect your piece as much as possible. This includes regularly dusting and cleaning your piece and preventing damage.

Thank you for reading. Be sure to subscribe to our blog! If you want to learn more about furniture refinishing or get some great removal project ideas, visit our website or check us out on YouTube at The Max Strip Channel

Monday, July 4, 2022

Top 10 Awesome DIY Paint Projects You Can do This Weekend

Nothing makes a weekend more enjoyable than adding a great DIY project to make your favorite room pop! Introducing a splash of color or a new design feature can really change the whole feel of a home. If you are in need of some inspiration or are just looking for touch of dimension, take a look at these top 10 DIY paint projects.

01 Say Hello to Stencils

If you're ready to make a style statement with your accent wall, consider using a wall stencil to add a bit of depth into your accent wall. A wall stencil DIY project gives you complete control of choosing your favorite design and paint colors with an end result everyone will love! There are many simple DIY paint projects that creates big changes with a little bit of paint. To pull your room's design together, repeat your accent wall pattern with a matching area rug or pillow fabrics.

02 In With the Old, Out With the New

Even the most beautiful old furniture can benefit from a color makeover. If you have a piece of furniture that you love but are seriously wondering if it still fits your style, try this DIY paint update project. The key to a stunning paint makeover is adding a pop of unexpected color. For a hutch or buffet, painted shelves in a bold color are highlighted by a more serious color on the outside. A bookcase can be updated by painting the inside back or interior shelves with a pop of color. For a longer lasting paint job, safely strip existing coating first to ensure you are receiving the best results. You can count on Max Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper to get the removal job done quickly and efficiently! 

03 Just a Splash

Painting over your plain white ceiling is a subtle way to add color to any room. Dining and living rooms are the perfect spots for ceiling color, especially with a trayed ceiling or decorative molding that separates the new paint color from the walls. Though painting your ceiling can be a DIY painting project, make sure you have the right tools and patience to complete your project!

04 Let's Add Some Fun

Dry Erase Paint will give you unlimited color options for a DIY writing and drawing surface in your home. Any kitchen, home office, or studio would be the perfect spot for a colorful dry-erase surface to help you stay organized or be more creative. Turn a piece of furniture, a section of your wall or door, into a colorful dry-erase board with just a few coats of paint. 

05 Chalk It Out 

Imagine the possibilities for your home when you try a chalkboard paint DIY project. Chalkboard paint can be used on walls, inside cabinet doors, and even on furniture. With the advances in chalkboard paint, you can now get it in most paint colors too!

06 Bright and Bold 

Updating your front door with a bright paint color is the top curb appeal booster for your home. Front door color inspiration can come from your garden, your home's architectural style, or your interior d├ęcor. Once you've chosen your color, you'll want to make sure you have the tools and the instructions for this DIY project before you begin. For a longer-lasting paint job, safely strip existing coatings first! My favorite safer stripper is Max Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper!

07 Unexpected Dimension 

Your furniture doesn't have to be an heirloom or designer piece to be stylish. Laminate furniture can be transformed with paint. You can paint your laminate furniture in one great color, try a color-block design, or even a pattern. 

08 Trendy Accents 

Everyone knows that accent walls are one of the easiest ways to transform any room with color. Adding an accent wall is a simple way to add an accent color to a tired color palette, or add a focal point to a room without any architectural features. Any color can be used for your accent wall DIY paint project, but be sure to plan out your color palette first so that you can tie everything together. 

09 It's Time for a Makeover! 

Most two-story homes have a small bathroom downstairs that was designed for convenience. Though this bathroom may not be used exclusively by guests, there is no reason not to express your dramatic side by creating a stunning powder room.

The fun of decorating this tiny bathroom is that it is the one room in your home that doesn't have to "look bigger." You can choose whatever paint color you like as long as you have the right lighting. Powder rooms are where you can express your style without a thought to the rest of the house. Choose a favorite color, replace a boring mirror with a pretty framed one, and add decorative accents for a simple bathroom makeover.

10 Mix and Match 

Throw pillows are the quickest and easiest way to add a pop of color or pattern to any room. More than an afterthought, throw pillows are the finishing touch when you decorate a room. If you want to totally customize your space, try the throw pillow stencil designs from With their unique system, choice of modern and romantic designs, and fabric paint color selection, you can create a completely customized style at home.

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Monday, March 28, 2022

Top 5 Tough Spring Cleaning Tasks

Spring is here and we're all feeling the itch to wipe away the winter dust so to speak. But we all have those tougher clean-up tasks we've been putting on hold. Here are some of the top tough cleaning tasks with some tips to help get the job done this Spring.

1 Oven Cleaning

Oven cleaning falls into the out of sight out of mind category sometimes. Keep in mind a dirty oven can transfer unpleasant odors and flavors to your food so not the best task to put off. If you have a self-cleaning oven, it is perfectly acceptable to use it if the oven is only slightly dirty. After around two hours, you are left with white ash in the bottom of the oven that you must clean away once the oven unlocks and is cool.

If your oven is very dirty with baked-on food, the self-cleaning feature will not work well. Too much grease and food residue can smoke and even catch fire. You should never leave home with the self-cleaning function engaged. The best way to clean an oven for you will depend on the kind of ingredients you'd like to use, and how dirty your oven is to start. Commercial oven cleaners can be quite harsh. Here is our recommendation for a safe removal option: Max Strip All Purpose Remover.

2 Re-Paint the Front Door

If you were to ask any paint manufacturer, "is painting best done when the weather is mild outside, typically above 10°C and not too humid?" They would say "YES!" If your front door has seen better days, it might be a good time to give it a fresh coat of paint. For best results, remove the door from the hinges and remove all of its hardware. Give it a good cleaning to allow the paint to adhere properly, and scrape off any buildups of paint or areas where the old paint is chipping off. For multiple thick/damaged paint layers, try a DIY-friendly paint stripper to give your door a long-lasting paint job. 

Please note that traditional paint strippers can be very toxic and require special protective equipment. Our recommendation is Max Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper. If your home was built before 1979, check the paint for lead before you scrape or sand. For more information, go to epa-usa/lead paint

3 Tune-Up Outdoor Gas Grills

No matter what your recipe is, the best burgers are cooked on a clean, well-maintained grill. Before cookout season kicks off, give your grill a once-over. Look for food drippings and grease buildup on the exterior grill. Scrub these spots clean with warm soapy water to avoid attracting pests. Clean the grates and interior thoroughly to remove any drippings and grease. A shop vacuum can work great to remove burnt food from the bottom interior of the BBQ. For very dirty BBQ grates, soak them in Max Strip All Purpose Remover before scrubbing with warm water. Finally, clean the drip pan thoroughly with warm, soapy water. 

4 Community Graffiti Removal 

You've been looking at the same ugly graffiti every day in your community on your commute to work and it's finally warm enough to do something about it. Leaving graffiti can encourage more property damage. Removing it quickly it can discourage repeat offenders. Getting a few neighbors together for a walk around the neighborhood to clean up graffiti can go a long way. Improve curb/community appeal even increase property values. Some graffiti removers can be very smelly and even cause mild skin burns when used without protective gloves. Max Strip Graffiti Remover offers a safer option for graffiti removal and cleans-up with just water!

5 Repair & Treat Wood Furniture

Is your outdoor wood furniture starting to splinter, fade, or peeling paint? Then it’s time to get those repairs in before the summertime fun begins! If it is not properly treated for water damage prevention, the project will just be more work later. For damaged water sealants or peeling paint, always strip off the damaged coating. This will ensure you are getting the proper coating adhesion to protect your wood from water, weather, pests, and wood rot. It also protects you and your family from splinters ouch! For safe DIY furniture refinishing, we recommend Max Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper.

As the weather starts to warm up, we get more and more distracted with Summer fun! Take this perfect opportunity to clean up winter messes and the tough projects you've been putting off. Save Summer for fun in the sun and use this time to get these Spring clean up projects done before it’s too hot!

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