Stripping Mantel

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Forum topic by baby86bear posted 08-09-2012 04:05 PM 1410 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 2535 days

08-09-2012 04:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: stripping

I was given a old mantel from a antebellum home. It has over 10 layers of paint on it and I want to bring it back to original. If anyone knows how to make this happen and or the easy way.

4 replies so far

View HerbC's profile


1790 posts in 3060 days

#1 posted 08-09-2012 04:09 PM

Find somebody who can do dry ice “sandblasting”. It’s very gentle, little damage to the actual wood, much less mess to cleanup.

Be aware that anything that old that’s been painted a few time probably has lead based paint. You must be careful handling and disposing it, both due to actual health concerns and also due to legal concerns regarding environmental regulations.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2715 days

#2 posted 08-09-2012 07:12 PM

Having refinished professionally for 12 years, (long time ago), I’d be looking for someone with a dip tank. The only drawback with dip tank people is they have a tendency to water wash after they lift it out, since the water stays on top of the chemicals and keeps them from evaporating. Have to get the wood dry quick after.

I’m not too keen on any kind of sandblasting, it might eat away if the wood underneath is softwood, or in the least bit punky. Have to remember, if any of the wood is softer than any layer of paint, the wood goes with the blaster.

You can try heat, but you will probably find at least a few coats of lead based paint in there, which means you must be masked up for airborne lead contaminants, and if you hit milkpaint you will not move it.

Next, if you want to try, something strong like a methaline chloride stripper will take a few coats at a time, and you can simply brush it on, scrap it off, and let it dry for proper disposal. Just read the ingrediants on the back of the can.

My last and least preferred method would be sanding it off.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2562 days

#3 posted 08-09-2012 11:36 PM

Either MEC or citrus based stripper. Several iterations.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View wncguy's profile


412 posts in 2513 days

#4 posted 08-10-2012 12:04 AM

Check & see if you have any architectural salvage businesses in your area, we owned one in NC & used a great guy who had a dip tank to do our items. Worked wonders on many layers of paint. Not so good for oak & some woods though. Believe it was caustic soda & then neutralized & washed.

-- Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad

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