Dissolve potash in water, making a strong solution. With this wash the surface of the work, allowing it to soak a few minutes. If the paint can not then be scraped off, give the wood another application, and repeat until the paint is removed. Afterward, wash the surface with clean water sufficiently to insure the removal of all the potash.
For taking off varnish from cabinet-work, use a strong application of ordinary spirits of camphor. This will remove almost any kind of polish or varnish. Give the spirits time to evaporate before repolishing, or it will injure the new polish.
The solution of potash mentioned above will also remove varnish, and must be carefully washed off before any new varnish is applied.
It sometimes happens that marble tops of tables or other furniture get so scratched that repolishing becomes necessary. The following is the process used by the mason, and will, therefore, be acceptable in a work like the present. With a piece of sandstone with a very fine grit, rub the slab backward and forward, using very fine sand and water, till the marble appears equally rough, and not in scratches. Next use a finer stone and finer sand, till its surface appears equally gone over; then, with fine emery-powder and a piece of felt or old hat wrapped round a weight, rub till all the marks left by the former process are worked out, and it appears with a comparative gloss on its surface. Afterward finish the polish with putty-powder and fine clean rags. As soon as the face appears of a good gloss, do not put any more powder on the rags, but rub it well, and in a short time it will appear as if fresh from the mason's hands.
Make a thick paste with rotten-stone and olive-oil, and vigorously rub the marble with it on a cloth.
To polish black marble, proceed as follows: Wash it with warm soap and water, and when dry rub it well with furniture paste or French polish, and then rub it with an old silk handkerchief. After one or two trials it will become quite bright.
To remove stains on marble, apply spirits of salt and carefully wash off.