I've had good success with Colron furniture stripper. There's still a bit of elbow grease involved but much easier than sanding alone. IIRC, you apply it with an old paintbrush, leave it an hour or so to react, then scrub it off with some wire wool. This removed most of the varnish but I still had to go over some stubborn areas with 40-grit sandpaper. More recently I used the Screwfix own brand stripper (think it's called No Nonsense) and it was totally useless.
it sort of bubbles up then you have to scrape it off, it smells horrible but it does work if you have a lot of patience! If it's detailed bits of wood then you'd be at it all day with a little screwdriver or something. How about picking out the paint and filling the gaps with a matching wood filler instead.