In addition to holding a degree in paralegal studies, she has more than 10 years of experience renovating newer homes and restoring historic property. Hold the gun as far from the surface as the gun manufacturer recommends, then scrape off the softened varnish and stain with a paint scraper or putty knife before it cools.

Antique Furniture Stripping Product Furniture

Traditional heat guns produce intense heat, so use caution not to char the wood or burn your skin. Infrared guns are used the same way as traditional heat guns; they still can burn your skin, but they do not produce as much heat as traditional guns. A heat gun might leave more stain behind than liquid or gel strippers, so you may need steel wool, rags and turpentine or stripper to loosen the last traces. When the stripper has softened the varnish enough for scraping, the surface appears wrinkled or bubbled.

Scrape off the varnish with a paint scraper or a putty knife.

You can use a stiff-bristled scrub brush to remove varnish from fancy, curved details. Some of the stain may linger after scraping. If the stripper requires rinsing, use the method the manufacturer recommends. Some chemicals require dampening a rag with another chemical such as turpentine and wiping the item, but adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines. If the item is large, apply stripper to an area that is approximately 1 linear or square foot and remove it before moving to the next area.

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I recently refinished a Mahogany writing desk, I used Zip Strip to remove the old finish, sanded it and refinished it. It's a great do it.


Where possible, remove hinges, bolts and drawer pulls to strip the wood item more completely. If you’ve chosen a chemical stripper, move the item outdoors or ventilate the room as much as possible with open windows and fans. If you’ve chosen heat over liquid or gel strippers, use drop cloths to catch the softened varnish as you scrape. Chemical-resistant gloves and eye protection are important, even with milder citrus products. Liquids are thinner and work faster than citrus gels, but they dry faster; closely monitor the stripper’s progress and don’t let it dry on the wood. Standard heat guns can quickly char the wood, but infrared heat guns produce less heat. The least-expensive way to strip while covering the most ground is a traditional chemical stripper, with citrus strippers being a bit more costly. Standard and infrared heat guns are expensive, but reusable; they require minimal time to soften varnish and stain, but only cover one small area at a time. If you’re stripping a staircase, for example, protect the walls and floors at the head and foot of the staircase with drop cloths and painter’s tape. Moveable items such as tables or cabinets also need a drop cloth underneath and painter’s tape around any fixed parts or accents you don’t need to strip. If sanding is out of the question, you need to strip the wood instead. Stripping also is quick, it removes almost no wood, and there are a few methods from which to choose. Most liquid chemical and citrus-based gel paint strippers remove varnish and stain. Chemical strippers work in as little as 30 minutes, but the fumes may be overwhelming. Citrus strippers have less odor, but they work slower and may require two or more attempts. Avoid citrus strippers that require water rinsing, as water raises the wood grain, which requires light sanding. Heat guns soften varnish and stain within a minute or two, making it rubbery. If you use a metal scraper, round the corners a little with a file or grinder to avoid scratching the wood. In most cases is won't take a lot of effort to scrape off the finish once the stripper has done its job. But if it's one of the more durable types, you will have to apply more pressure to scrape the finish off. Sanding is one of the most common methods, as it cuts through varnish and stain, and reveals a fresh layer of wood. Although sanding is fast, it produces a great deal of fine-particle dust, which is easy to inhale, and it can remove more wood than you desire. If the stripper dries too much before you remove the finish, just add more and let it sit for less time. After letting the stripper sit for 10 minutes or a little longer, you can check to see if the finish has softened/dissolved enough to be removed.


How to Easily Remove Paint and Varnish Old !

Stripping Product Tip: Leave Finish Alone

If it's wrinkled up you know it's ready, but if it doesn't, you can do a little test using a scraper to see if the finish comes off easily. If the finish doen't come off with light pressure, either give it more time or lay down another wet coat of the stripper over the existing stripper. After 30 minutes, the finish should have softened as long as the stripper has enough strength for the type of finish you're removing. On flat areas, the scraper is the quickest. For larger areas, you can pour the stripper onto the surface and use the paint brush to spread it out evenly. A good coat of stripper will look like the door in the picture on the left. Some areas are thicker than others, but the entire surface is wet, and trying to spread it more evenly will only make the solvents evaporate too quickly. If you have dry spots, add more stripper on those areas. Depending on the finish that's on the piece, it may soften, dissolve, or wrinkle as the stripper does its job. The drawer face in this picture shows a good example of a finish that wrinkles as the stripper works on it. Don't brush it back and forth or the solvents will evaporate too quickly. The semi-paste stripper contains wax that floats to the surface while it's sitting and seals the solvents in so they have time to work on the finish. Start by pouring some of the stripper into an empty coffee can or paint can. Using the separate container with the large opening will make it easier to use and avoid spills.

You can get empty quart and gallon metal paint cans with lids from your local home center or paint store. Use the brush to slather on a thick wet coat of the stripper, spreading it quickly and evenly. Working outdoors not only helps to contain the mess, it gives you plenty of fresh air so the fumes from the chemicals don't build up. It's a good idea to have extra gloves on hand in case they get holes in them. Wearing a long sleeve shirt and a rubber apron will help protect you from getting any stray stripper on your skin.


Got Paint Stripping To Do?

Stay Lead Safe With These

The semi-paste consistency evaporates a lot slower than liquid stripper and gives you more working time. Use an inexpensive, disposable natural bristle brush (the stripper will dissolve synthetic brushes) and slather on a thick coat of the stripper. Make sure there isn't anything nearby that you don't want the stripper to get on; it will damage whatever it contacts including the paint on your car. Refinish , there are lists of problems that help you to classify the damage to the finish on your funiture. There are a few different options based on the extent of the damage. Stripping the existing finish with paint and varnish remover is the most invasive of the options and should be reserved for pieces that are in poor condition or you want to improve. To make a work area, start by covering an area of the driveway, garage/car-port, or yard with cardboard to catch and collect the drippings that always seem to occur no matter how carefully you work. The cardboard should extend a few feet beyond the piece you're working on in each direction. If your goal is to get down to raw wood, remove as much stain as you can using lacquer thinner and an abrasive pad.

You might be able to remove the remaining stain with sandpaper. If that doesn’t work, apply new stain that’s the same color or darker than the old, or consider painting.

Then turn it on low and let the hardware ‘cook’ overnight. The paint should practically fall off the next day. Without the script, a number of features on this site are not visible. These include pictures that go with the text. This applies to painting over clear finishes as well. Add a second coat if the first one dries before you have time to scrape it off, or if the finish doesn’t all come off the first time.

To help keep stripper from evaporating too quickly, brush it on and then cover it with a plastic trash bag or drop cloth. Let the stripper residue in the box dry completely before disposing of it in the trash. Sometimes a piece of painted furniture is painted because somebody tried to hide something like a repair, ugly wood or finger-jointed boards. Try stripping a small area to see what’s under all that paint before committing to doing the whole thing.

You can also use a tarp, plastic drop cloth or old newspapers. Use it to remove finish from deep wood pores and turned parts like chair legs.

You can also use it (or finegrit sandpaper) to gently score the surface of hard finishes so stripper will penetrate better. Dental picks are ideal for removing finish from small cracks and crevices. Slightly dull ones work even better because they’re less likely to damage the wood. A pair of locking pliers with a round fender washer also works great as a round scraping tool. The soft carpet protects wood from nicks and scratches and also absorbs drips. Refinishers contain a mixture of solvents like methanol, acetone and toluene, and dissolve clear finishes like lacquer and shellac in minutes. Use a foil pan, a paint can or an old coffee can.

Use a disposable chip brush or an old paintbrush that you don’t care about. When finished, allow the brush to dry completely and throw it into the trash. Be sure to round off the corners of the putty knife with a file or electric grinder to prevent gouging of the wood. Avoid using steel wool, especially with water-based strippers, because it can leave rust marks behind. Strippers like this that contain water can raise the grain of wood, so it might leave you with some light sanding to do. Wear splash-proof goggles, long sleeves and pants, chemical-resistant gloves and a respirator with new organic vapor cartridges. Keep a bucket of water with rags handy to wipe off stripper that gets on your skin. If you must work indoors, open as many windows and doors as you can. They smell nice—like citrus—but that doesn’t mean the fumes are safe. Wear a respirator and eye protection and work in a well-ventilated area. The bad news is that it can take up to 24 hours to work. Some ‘safe’ strippers contain chemicals that are dangerous if you touch them with bare hands or inhale the fumes. So, when you’re shopping for one, it really comes down to two factors: speed and safety. Don’t blindly accept marketing claims on the front of the bottle about how safe it is. No matter what color you choose, you’ll give new life to an old piece of furniture. It’s easy to bring out the beauty of wood furniture with a new finish. Stain highlights the grain and lets the details of your wood furniture shine through. After clear coating, let your finished piece fully cure in a warm, dry, well-ventilated area for 24 hours before use. Wipe lightly with the grain to avoid streaking.


How to Strip Furniture

You’ll need to apply multiple coats until you like the color. Wipe lightly with the grain to avoid streaking. You’ll need to apply multiple coats until you like the color. Spray-on clear coat is easy to use and provides great coverage. This technique will smooth any imperfections from your first coat and give you a pro grade finish. Wipe down the whole surface with a tack cloth to remove any dust from sanding. Spray the stripper evenly over the surface and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. You’ll see the old finish start to lift up off the wood.

You may have to apply stripper and scrape more than once in order to remove the majority of the old finish. Once you’re done stripping and the surface is dry, wipe with mineral spirits using a clean cloth to remove any residual stripper. Allow the to fully dry before moving on to sanding. Wipe the blade with a disposable shop cloth between scrapes. Refinishers liquefy these finishes on contact. No matter what color you choose, you’ll give new life to an old piece of furniture. For small projects, aerosol spray paint stripper is really convenient because it’s easy to control and won’t spill. Spray the stripper evenly over the surface and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. You’ll see the old finish start to lift up off the wood. In addition to being a possible carcinogen, methylene chloride can cause skin and lung irritation and exacerbate the symptoms of heart disease. In addition, it's difficult to detect when a respirator becomes ineffective. These strippers aren't as toxic as the fastest strippers, but you'll still need to wear gloves and goggles, and most require additional ventilation. Because these strippers work from the top down, you may need to apply a second coat when stripping furniture that's caked under several layers of paint. The downside is that these strippers take as long as 24 hours to work and, because they're water-based, they will raise the grain and loosen veneers. These strippers work from the bottom up so that the finish comes off in sheets. With its new finish, the table looks might look too good to eat off of, but there's no need to cover up the wood with a tablecloth. Coarse steel wool or an abrasive pad are also good for scrubbing off stubborn paint. The safer the stripper is, the slower it works.

Pastes don't generally work as fast as liquids, but because they stay wet longer, you have more time to scrape off the sludge. With that in mind, here's a rundown of the four basic categories. This chemical will soften almost any paint and finish instantly. Maxwell also advises against too much sanding. The maple used on this table didn't quite match. He brushed the full-strength stain on the lighter wood, then switched to the thinned stain to finish the top. Once the stain dries, any additional stain will make the wood look like a darker second coat. Maxwell stained the edges after blending the top. Maxwell prefers the speed of a spray finish, but "choosing a finish is a balance between form and function," he says. In the case of an everyday piece, such as a kitchen table, a brush-on polyurethane would be an equally practical choice. After starting with a power sander, he switched to a small cork-padded block. Carvings and turnings require special attention.


The Idiot’s Guide to Refinishing Wood Furniture

Maxwell prefers using a scrub brush to work the paint out of all the nooks and crannies on the legs, but coarse twine and wood shavings also work well. To further limit evaporation, as well as your exposure to the chemicals, consider wrapping the piece in newspaper, waxpaper or polyethylene sheeting and letting the chemical work overnight. If the stripper dries, you can reactivate it by brushing on a little more, and then scraping it all off. Once the paint is off, you'll need to rinse off any remaining stripper; otherwise, the chemical residue will react with the new finish. Some of the vapors can also corrode the metal parts of your furnace or water heater. Maxwell does his work on a lipped metal tray that collects the extra stripper into a paint can; he reuses the stripper until it evaporates.

You can cover a worktable with several thick layers of newspaper, removing the top sheet as it gets caked up to expose a fresh working surface. The chemical breaks the bond between the wood and paint; most finishes will come off in sheets. If you find yourself prying or scraping off the finish though, put on more stripper or you'll damage the wood. Next, he brushed on a thin coat of carpenter's glue and clamped the boards together. Once the glue dried, the table was shipped to the stripping room. So if you do decide to have a pro do the work, look for a shop that does the work by hand. Maxwell uses metal scrapers and steel wool, but if you're using a water-based chemical, use plastic knives and abrasive pads; otherwise, metal particles will leave rust stains on the wood. Because many chemicals in strippers are heavier than air, they will sink to the floor and can be difficult to get rid of, so basements are not a good choice. Whether the piece is a family heirloom or just something you picked up at a garage sale, you can remove the paint and turn it into a usable piece of furniture. Chemical stripping surely ranks as one of the messiest ways to spend a weekend. What will you save doing the work yourself?

Maxwell suggests writing numbers on the parts or even taking a few "before" pictures to help with reassembly when you're done. If the piece is damaged, fix it before removing the paint. The fastest way to correct splits like these is to recut and reglue the joint.

Maxwell ran the top through his tablesaw, cleaned up the cut on his jointer and installed a few wood biscuits to reinforce the joint and straighten any minor warping. Oil finishes are applied to the wood and allowed to soak for a certain amount of time. Small scratches and defects can be easily repaired by simply sanding the defect and rubbing more oil finish in the affected area. The entire finish can be renewed periodically by rubbing in an additional coat. It's also a good idea to use paste wax on furniture finished using penetrating oils. The wax will give additional protection while complementing the appearance of this finish. Getting under those layers of old paint might reveal a valuable piece of furniture.

Choose another type of finish if extreme durability is a requirement. If you use a brush, work quickly and apply lacquer with the grain using a good, natural bristle brush. A properly applied lacquer finish is a thing of beauty worthy of the finest furniture. A hand-rubbed lacquer finish has a deep, soft gloss and doesn't have the plastic appearance of many polyurethanes. The final coat can be rubbed out with 0000 steel wool and paste wax. It can also be polished with polishing compound (automotive compound is fine) for a soft luster.


How to Remove Varnish and Other Wood Finishes

They're good choices for antiques or fine furniture that won't be subject to a lot of wear and tear. Apply several thin coats, sanding between coats with 220 grit paper. One of the most common mistakes people make when using polyurethane is trying to apply thick coats. This can cause running, wrinkling and sagging. Lacquer is considered more difficult to apply than other clear finishes because it requires several coats with sanding in between. It can't be used over paint or other topcoats since it will soften and lift the finish. For the best finish, lacquer should be sprayed. There is at least one product available which combines a lacquer base with a sealer in an easily applied topcoat which can be sprayed or brushed. Brush polyurethane with the grain in long, overlapping strokes. Water-based polyurethanes also dry quickly, requiring little time between coats. When using satin or semi-gloss formulations, be sure to stir the product well to keep the flattening agents in suspension. Avoid creating bubbles when stirring and when applying with a brush. After loading the brush, tap it lightly against the side of the can instead of dragging it across the lip. They do require a different finishing technique.


Removing Paint Antique Oak Furniture Paint Stripper

Stripping Product Tip: Leave Finish Alone

Before applying the finish, rub down the project with a damp cloth. Allow the wood to dry and then sand to remove the raised grain.

You may want to do this a couple of times to reduce the tendency of the water in the finish to raise the grain when it's applied. This should be unnecessary if you've already used this technique when applying water-based stain. If you've never used water-based polyurethane before, don't be alarmed by the white, milky color of the product as it's applied. It will quickly dry to a completely transparent clear. Penetrating oil finishes are easy to apply and look great with a soft, natural appearance. They afford less protection than varnish or lacquer finishes. Polyurethane creates a hard, durable finish and is available in a range of sheens. Water-based polyurethanes are very easy to use and are environmentally friendly. Lacquer gives a durable and luscious finish, but requires more skill and effort to apply. Your decision about which finish to use will depend on your confidence level and the piece you're finishing.