Thank you very much, Henry. I have never heard of Citristrip before. But, I will look for it tomorrow. Also, now that I think of it, the stain more than likely is shellac rather than varnish. Since I have your attention, perhaps you could give me some advice as to what kind of stain to put back after I have cleaned up all of the old mess. I have a walnut handrail w/ a cherry newel post, and spindles of an unknown wood painted white. The steps themselves are pine. Which would be a better stain over pine, walnut or cherry?