Refinish Furniture Without Stripping

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I found this small chest at a

consignment shop over the weekend it's

actually in pretty good shape except for

some surface blemishes here and there

the problem is it's the wrong color the

plan is for this chest to end up in our

son's room which has much darker

furniture the first step in preparing

this piece for a new finish is to remove

the drawers and take off the hardware I

don't plan on getting rid of the

existing finish but I do want to clean

it with this solvent naphtha I apply

some to a soft cotton cloth and begin

wiping in the direction of the grain

naphtha does a good job of removing

grime and oil without attacking or

softening the finish itself you can see

here how much surface dirt is coming off

at frequent intervals I unfold the cloth

pad refold it to present a clean surface