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OK this is more REMOVING finish(es) than applying....

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Forum topic by Charlie posted 07-10-2013 12:30 PM 524 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Charlie

1064 posts in 1005 days


07-10-2013 12:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have had my studio easel for well over 30 years and got it used from someone who had it in a garage loft for who knows how long. It was painted white. It is in need of repair so I thought I’d try stripping it so I could see what I have to start with. I used Citrus Strip on it.

First application… took that white latex off like nobody’s business in about 20 or 30 minutes. Then there’s a layer of black. Might be some kind of enamel. That comes off pretty easy with a second application of stripper OR if I let the stripper sit on the white (first application) for a couple hours.

THEN there’s a green color. In order to get that one off I have to apply the stripper again and let it sit about 8 hours. That’s when I found out there are TWO different green layers. Then what appears to be a stain or colored varnish or something. I got it down to bare wood in a couple of test areas. Was kind of hoping to see some nice wood or something, but it doesn’t appear that’s going to be the case.

By the time I get this stripped… and I’ll have to take it apart to a large degree to do that, and spend another 30 or 40 dollars for more stripper (the quart I bought just ain’t gonna do it). I’d almost be better off taking what I’d spend on stripper and just buying some decent pine and build a new one. Why pine and not walnut or oak or cherry? Oh I’ve seen some $1600 easels. They’re gorgeous. But you know what? I GET PAINT ON MINE! It’s a tool. Not a piece of furniture. It’s a FIXTURE that holds a canvas. :)

So… Citrus Strip is kinda slow. Would a less-safe stripper do this faster? And hopefully in one application instead of 3 or 4?


4 replies so far

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chrisstef

11328 posts in 1725 days


#1 posted 07-10-2013 12:55 PM

In a commercial setting we use a product called “Aircraft”. Nasty nasty stuff put it will peel some paint like nobodys business.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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Finisherman

209 posts in 568 days


#2 posted 07-10-2013 06:59 PM

Normally, I’m not a big fan of the lowly heat gun, especially not on fine furniture. In this case, though, I’d likely make an exception. If you already own a heat gun, it might be just the thing. Beware of lead paint, though, if the easel predates the 1970s. If a lead test kit shows the presence of lead, then don’t use heat to strip the paint under any circumstances. You could try the aircraft stripper, as suggested above, but it’s expensive. If I were in your shoes, I’d strip as much of the old paint as I could with the heat gun and then plan on repainting the easel, especially if, as you indicate, there’s unlikely to be nice wood under all of that gaudy paint.

P.S. Heat guns are available for rent from some home centres or tool rental businesses.

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Charlie

1064 posts in 1005 days


#3 posted 07-10-2013 07:11 PM

Heat gun is not a bad idea. I have a good one fro my model-building days. I may be stopping at Home Depot tonight to get some stuff to redo a floor. I’ll pick up one of those home lead test kits. They aren’t always reliable for finding buried lead paint containing layers, but I’ve got all of the paint layers exposed now so I can test them all.

I used to be part of a lead-based paint abatement team for Buffalo, NY’s housing authority. I didn’t actually do the removal but I did most of the testing. I’m certified to operate an x-ray fluorescence spectrometer. :)

I’ve gone ahead and ordered plans for a new easel, but if I can get this one cleaned up and do some repairs on it I can donate it someone I know who runs an art school. She’d be thrilled to get it.

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chrisstef

11328 posts in 1725 days


#4 posted 07-10-2013 07:14 PM

We use the Aircraft stuff for stripping lead based paint. Funny how all the posts melded together.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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