You shouldn't do either. Some of the finish penetrates into the wood and if you don't remove it out of the fibers of the grain you can have places that won't accept the stain. Any time wood is refinished it should be chemically stripped first.
Thank you for your advice, but I never had a problem. After scrapping I sand to a smooth surface and re-stain or in this case paint the drawer front a solid color. This is a comparison photo of after scrapping and after sanding before painting.
We have a lot of people that come here asking about what went wrong on their refinishing project and then after a few questions found out that instead of using paint and varnish remover they sanded the finish off. Apparently they didn't sand as well as you did but I still believe it's a bad practice to skip the remover. At one time I had a furniture refinishing shop and have seen just how deeply some finishes penetrate into the wood and know how important it is to remove everything.
The problems others have had that come here for example your drawer front they would stain it and the flat surface would look fine but the molded edge would be all blotchy. They failed to completely remove all of the old finish because it wasn't as easy to sand as the face and because the wood was still sealed in places the wood wouldn't accept the stain.
You are right Steve, if the preparation is done right it shouldn't be any problems refinishing a piece of furniture. The reason I've done this way is that I don't like the smell that stays around with paint stripper and I also have concerns about chemicals used in them. This is just my opinion and I've taken to finishing my furniture this way.
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