Hi, I am trying to remove varnish off of a pine bed. The reason I am removing it is that we are going with a darker stain. I have tried sanding it with 100grit paper but it seems to gum up the sand paper really quick. What is the best way to remove the varnish? Should I use a lower grit or possibly do chemical strip?
You're sandpaper is gumming up because you're sanding varnish.
You'd be best off to take the bed apart and strip the varnish off of it with a paint stripper that contains methylene chloride as the active ingredient. Paint strippers that call themselves "citrus" strippers or say that the active ingredient is d-Limonene only work OK on latex paints.
Once you strip the varnish off, then you'll have to sand the wood quite a bit to remove the surface layer that has the existing stain in it. Then you can restain the wood and apply a clear coat on top.