Stripping Wood Tips

by Larry Hunter
(Utah)


Stripping Wood Tips; If a finish cannot be revived, it must be stripped off and a new finish applied. A chemical remover is the most effective way to remove an old finish without 1 damaging the wood beneath. Sanding is less efficient and may mar the wood. The best removers contain a high proportion of methylene chloride, a powerful solvent that works well on a wide 1 range of finishes water-based stains and paints). Methylene chloride is also noncombustible.


Three types of strippers are available: water base, oil base, and water rinse. All will do an excellent job. Water can damage veneer and soften glue in joints. So, When using a water-rinse stripper, it is safer not to hose it off, as is sometimes recommended. Instead, remove the finish with steel wool soaked in to Stripping compounds are available in paste and liquid form. Paste strippers adhere better to vertical surfaces. Position the work on several layers of newspaper.

Remove drawers, doors, and hardware, and strip him separately. If you are not stripping the entire piece, mask ofl the areas you want preserved. You will need an ample supply of re-mover and several old or inexpensive paintbrushes—once a brush is used to apply paint remover, it becomes unfit for any other purpose. Wear rubber gloves. Pour some remover into a coffee can and work from it while keeping the main supply capped. Strip only a single section at a time, otherwise the mixture of dissolved finish and stripper may dry before you can remove it. Adjust the piece so that the part you are working on is horizontal.

Apply a thick coat of remover, ladling it on generously with as kw strokes as possible. Do not brush it out. Let the remover work undisturbed for about 15 or then, when the finish is wrinkled and blistered, scrape it off with a putty knife followed by No. 2/0 steel wool. Follow the grain and work carefully, particularly with the putty knife; the wood will be temporarily softened by the stripping chemicals and can easily be scarred. Use a toothbrush or steel wool twisted into a rope to clean corners, joints, and curved surfaces. Even if some finish remains on the first section, continue stripping the rest or the
piece. Then, using Fresh remover and clean tools, reattaek stubborn sections. If remover drips onto a clean section, quickly wipe it off with gum turpentine.

Caution: Chemicals used in stripping and refinishing can be hazardous. Methylene chloride, benzene (often called benzol), toluene, and xylene are all known or suspected cancer causing substances. The last three are also highly volatile. Read the manufacturer's instructions and warnings carefully before using them. Heart patients and smokers should avoid breathing the fumes of any of these substances. Others should use them only outdoors or in a room with exhaust ventilation and no access to pilot lights or other ignition sources.

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