How to Remove Varnish From Bamboo Furniture


Bamboo furniture is a unique and exotic material. Bamboo is an amazing plant that can grow up to one foot per day, making it the fastest-growing planet. It’s also very hardy and can withstand strong winds and saltwater due to its natural oils.

And bamboo does not need pesticides or fertilizers because of its natural defenses against insects and fungi.

All these traits make it well-suited for outdoor use in climates with high humidity, but bamboo should never be used outdoors in areas where temperatures routinely drop below -4°F or go above 122°F as this will cause damage to the wood cells. In this article, I will discuss how to remove varnish from bamboo furniture. So let us get started.

How to Remove Varnish From Bamboo Furniture

Summary: If you want to remove varnish from bamboo furniture, there are a few different methods you can try. You can use an enzyme cleaner, a stripper, or a polish. If you’re using an enzyme cleaner, be sure to test it on a small piece of the furniture first to make sure it doesn’t ruin the wood.

A Detailed Stepwise Guide on How to Remove Varnish From Bamboo Furniture:

Varnish is a protective transparent or opaque coating used to enhance the furniture’s look. Varnishing protects the wood from dust, scratches, UV rays, and other elements.

Although varnishing gives an attractive look to furniture, it may also damage your furniture in the long run. We can remove varnish from bamboo furniture by following these easy steps:

Step 1: Preparations for Removing Varnish From Bamboo Furniture

You’ll need plenty of time for this project, so it’s best to start preparing well in advance. Gather all the materials you’ll need for the process, like a paintbrush, mineral spirits, or denatured alcohol, and a clean cloth. You can find these at most hardware stores.

Step 2: Strip Varnish From the Furniture With a Paintbrush

Mix 1 part of denatured alcohol and one part of the mineral spirit in a bowl. Apply the mixture with a brush and let it sit for at least 15 minutes or until the required time has lapsed. It would help if you were careful while applying this solution as a solvent may damage your skin and inhale harmful fumes.

Hence, we recommend wearing gloves and using a window for adequate ventilation. Once the time is over, gently rub the varnish through the same brush, you used earlier. If some parts are not removed, repeat the process by adding more solvent to your solution.

Step 3: Use a Scraper to Remove Excess Varnish From Furniture

This step requires using a metal scraper to remove the remaining varnish. Make sure that you apply the same amount of pressure all over so that your scraped surface is even and no rough patches are left behind.

Step 4: Get Rid of Varnish With Sandpaper.

Once you have completed the above two steps, let the wood dry completely, then go ahead and start using sandpaper on it. It would help if you did this by rubbing it in a circular motion with 220 grit sandpaper. Go on doing it till the bamboo looks smooth again.

Step 5:apply Oil or Wax to Protect Furniture From Future Damage.

For this step, you can use boiled linseed oil or any other finishing oils available at hardware stores near you. Apply a liberal coat of oil to the surface and let it dry for a night. For more queries, just check online or consult a carpenter nearby.

Precautions While Removing Varnish From Bamboo Furniture:

Precautions While Removing Varnish From Bamboo Furniture
  • Remove all the drawers, doors, and cushions.
  • Cover everything with sheets of plastic to protect against spills.
  • Wear rubber gloves while you work to prevent contact with chemicals in the varnish remover (which may irritate the skin) and for general protection.
  • Protect your eyes by wearing safety goggles or glasses when you work with this chemical material.
  • Ensure proper ventilation in your working area since most varnish removers contain strong solvents that give off fumes until they evaporate. A dehumidifier (or air-conditioner) can also help keep humidity levels down; high humidity will prolong the drying time of the wood where glue is present.
  • Consider using a fan to blow fumes away from your working area to increase airflow. Do not use a fuel-fired heater or propane torch as a heat source.

How to Clean A Bamboo Furniture:

The process of cleaning bamboo furniture is not that difficult. You can easily clean your bamboo furniture with the help of simple household things like vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, alcohol, and a few other items. Let’s know about each in detail!

Step 1:   

Mix an equal amount of vinegar and lemon juice to eliminate dirty spots on its surface. Pour this mixture on the furniture using a paintbrush or else you can also soak cotton balls in it and scrub over the area of oil stains.

Baking soda paste can be applied with great results if there are any scars or scratches on your furniture. This remedy will act as an exfoliant, leaving all dirt marks behind shining furniture. For those whose furniture has been stained from cigarette butts and ashtrays, alcohol can be helpful to cleanse it and leave it sparkling like new.

Step 2: 

How to Clean A Bamboo Furniture

After cleaning these items, you need to dry the surface using a soft towel. When your bamboo furniture dries, ensure no moisture is left on its surface, as this would lead to fungus formation that will cause serious damage to the wood.

Another important step in cleaning Bamboo Furniture is varnish removal or stripping of old varnish off the surface of the furniture piece. This process needs to be done very carefully as applying too much pressure can result in fiber cracking, which affects the quality and durability of bamboo furniture.

You can use a chemical stripper to remove old layers of varnish from your furniture as it softens the layer to make it easy for you. Using a scraper, you can peel off the loosened material from bamboo wood and then wash this thoroughly with water.

Once done, let it dry before using any polish on it. This process ensures no damage caused to Bamboo Furniture due to excess pressure acting on its fragile fiber structure.

Step 3: 

After applying a new coat of varnish or lacquer to your bamboo furniture, leave it overnight to dry. This will give you shiny, new furniture that is free of moisture.

You must apply at least 2 coats of lacquer or varnish over your furniture piece for protection against moisture and dirt, which will help protect the bamboo furniture from frequent damage. The methods described above are efficient enough to clean Bamboo Furniture without damaging its quality. Try them out!


I hope this article has helped learn how to remove varnish from bamboo furniture; ensure all the precautions while performing the process. Thank you and have a nice day!

Jennifer Branett
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