Strip varnished woodwork
A professional refinisher will charge $857 to remove varnish from two windows and two doors, which includes the labor and material. You can do the job for $80 and save 91 percent for your effort. To protect the walls and floor around the woodwork, go to great lengths to cover them with heavy vinyl drop cloths taped in place and covered by a heavy canvas drop cloth. You'll need an old bristle brush, steel wool, scrapers, rags, and a can or box to contain the varnish removed from the scrapers and steel wool. Carefully follow the manufacturer's directions regarding ventilation and application, and wear old clothes, heavy vinyl gloves, eye protection and a respirator. When the varnish is removed, wash away any residue with mineral spirits. For a fine finish, we like tung oil because it's easy to apply and provides a durable finish.
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Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved
$857 -- $80 -- 26.7 -- 32.5 -- $777 -- 91 Percent