Sports Socks as Rags for Stripping Furniture

bin of cotton socksHere’s a short tutorial on how to use old sport socks when stripping paint or varnish off furniture (or anything else).

I am not sure at what point I came to use these. I do know that I have four sons (and a husband…) who have gone through an AWFUL LOT of sports socks over the years… and I sometimes used them as “mitts” for dusting or applying wood stain, or wiping up spatter… and ultimately ended up using them to strip furniture. I think the main reason was to try to help the planet by cutting down on reams of paper towel.

Remember also that I do all my work in my home. Even when I’m in the basement or outside, I am slow and relatively tidy and I try to drop whatever I remove directly into a garbage pail.

Here’s my technique.

The goop on the sock is rather revolting looking – but it’s just a mixture of varnish and stripper solution. I scrape it off with the scraper, then wipe the scraper across the sock, like so.

stripper sock 1

Here’s an example of darker varnish removal…

dark varnish removal

When the section is fairly full of the stuff, I roll that part over, providing a new surface.

stripper sock 2

I continue applying goo, and rolling. Notice there are other friendly socks in the area.  They are used for general wiping and cleaning as I go along.  Ultimately they become the next “stripper” sock.

stripper sock 3 stripper sock 4 stripper sock 5

Here’s the last roll of a relatively “tidy” sock.  They don’t all look this good…

stripper sock 6

When my sock is full, I try to let it dry a bit. The next part can be done while the paint and stripper mixture is still wet but the task is a lot more pleasant when it’s dry!

I turn the sock inside out (or right side in).  Now all that junk is on the inside and I have an entire “new” sock to work with.

stripper sock 7The process gets repeated.

This time the sock will be thrown out. But that’s where old sports socks are destined for anyway, correct?


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