Advice on Refinishing Ornate 1970s Bureau?

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Q: My husband and I are both opera singers, so when someone gives us free stuff, we take it. This also means that we have some furniture that is…well… kinda ugly.

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I would love to re-paint this old bedroom set (a bureau and two side tables), but I think I need to strip the current stain/varnish/coating/paint/whatever-the-heck-is-on-there first. However, there are SO MANY nooks and crannies, I don't know if it's even possible. Do they sell tiny electric sanders? Should I attach sand paper to a popsicle stick and just go at it? Help! I can't take it anymore!

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.