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Forum topic by Jerry posted 08-20-2014 08:46 PM 813 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jerry

1768 posts in 1113 days


08-20-2014 08:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question maple scraper finishing modern

I’m refinishing a bedroom set for a client. It’s Canadian Maple, stained with a satin varnish over the stain. This has turned into the nightmare job.

The client wanted to remove the old stain and refinish with the Maple’s natural color which, as you can see, is much lighter.

The problem I’m having is that I have not been able to figure out a way to remove the finish and stain in the contoured areas and the very small 1/8” steps with anything but cabinet scrapers.

The large flat areas are no problem and the hand sander is taking them down quickly.

The scrapers are doing a fine job in the contoured areas, but I wish there was a better faster tool, this is taking forever.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, as I still have the rest of the chest, the headboard and footboards to do.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/


9 replies so far

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pintodeluxe

4858 posts in 2278 days


#1 posted 08-20-2014 08:49 PM

Maybe test a chemical stripper in an inconspicuous place? If the stripper can dissolve the finish, a wire brush may work it loose.
Refinishing is one of the hardest job out there.
Good luck with it.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Jerry

1768 posts in 1113 days


#2 posted 08-20-2014 09:28 PM

Thanks Willie I did try a chemical stripper on it,Dad’s – supposed to be able to dissolve anything including stain, but it didn’t phase this finish so I don’t know…

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

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Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 1733 days


#3 posted 08-20-2014 09:47 PM

Might have to sand it if possible

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1643 posts in 1782 days


#4 posted 08-20-2014 10:18 PM

Chemical stripper is the way to go but if it’s not having much effect on that finish, then it’s likely some 2 part urethane or conversion varnish. It will still come off and I’ve run across finishes like that but it’ll take longer.

Not sure what stripper you’re using but Kutzit is the best I’ve found available at a hardware store. You’ll need to apply some stripper, cover the furniture in plastic then let it sit for a half hour or so. Just don’t let the stripper get dry otherwise you’re wasting time.

If the stripper you used was one of the “safe” products, the instructions are full of lies. They claim 1-4 hour working time but the reality is that those products require at least twice the amount of time the instructions say.

Eventually the finish should soften or bubble then it’s ready to remove.

Also, if you intend to keep doing this sort of work to make money, you really need to get serious about acquiring a flow-over system, air supplied respirator and good, industrial stripper from a place like Kleen Strip or Benco. They sell powerful strippers for less than $13 a gallon and will save a lot of time and money.

We’ve done refinishing for years and it wasn’t until after we built the flow-over and obtained good stripper that we were able to get much more than minimum wage for the jobs. Now we’re getting good income.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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Jerry

1768 posts in 1113 days


#5 posted 08-20-2014 10:50 PM

RE JAAune: The stripper I tried was Dad’s

http://www.dadseasyspray.com/

It’s a self-sealing stripper, so once you put it on, it forms a surface film and does not dry out no matter how long you leave it on.

I misspoke when I said it had no effect, it actually did raise the varnish off, but the problem was it didn’t affect the stain underneath at all, which then had to be sanded off.

I’ve searched all over the internet for a product that will remove varnish and stain underneath it, and Dad’s was the only one that claimed to do that, but it really didn’t work at all.

Since I then realized I was going to be sanding, I opted out of the stripper because it was just adding an unnecessary step. My real problems came when I got to the contoured edges – no way to sand them without rounding things off.

Thank you VERY much for your input.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

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AnonymousRequest

861 posts in 1014 days


#6 posted 08-20-2014 10:58 PM

What JUUane said. Make sure the stripper has methylene chloride in the ingredients. This chemical “lingers down”. It’s best to do it outside or in an area where you can draw air flow from the floor level. Read the directions carefully about fumes and ventilation. Also use the protective gear required in the directions. A flow over system can be as simple as a suitable tank to contain the chemical, prop one end up so chemical will run to one side. A plastic container can be used to dip the chemical and pour the over your piece while you scrub with a plastic, hard bristle brush. Also don’t use a regular wire brush, use a brass wire brush. If you get the right stripper/chemical it’ll take the finish in no time at all.
Here’s where I used to by all my supplies http://www.kwickkleen.com/ Stripper must have went up. I have close to 20 gallons out in the shed now, which I paid $10 a gallon.

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JAAune

1643 posts in 1782 days


#7 posted 08-20-2014 11:01 PM

The faster approach would be to go ahead with the stripper as it’ll take some of the color off with the finish and as you mention, it works a lot better on contoured surfaces than scrapers or sandpaper.

If more color needs to come off, sometimes an additional coat of stripper and a brush or scotch brite will remove some of it. If that’s not enough, then it’s time to consider bleaching. Don’t use laundry bleach but I believe there are two types of bleach that people use on wood. One ( I think oxalic acid) is best at removing stains and the other is good for lightening the wood itself.

You really don’t want to rely on sanding. It’s one of the slowest methods of getting old finish off.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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NoThanks

798 posts in 994 days


#8 posted 08-20-2014 11:12 PM

I’ve always thought “Dad”s” was one of the best strippers.
I don’t think anything is going to bring the stain/color out of the wood.
Get some rubber finger tip covers before you sand your fingertips off because your going to be doing a lot of it no matter what.

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

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Jerry

1768 posts in 1113 days


#9 posted 08-21-2014 01:05 AM

Gentlemen thank you all for your input. I have a little experimentation to do, I think.

The Dad’s stripper does have methelyne chloride, according to the MSDS it’s:

INGREDIENTS————————————————CAS#————WT.%

Methylene Chloride (Dichloromethane)——-75-09-2———70-80
Methanol———————————————————67-56-1————5-10
2-Butoxyethanol——————————————-111-76-2————5-10

You are so right about not wanting to rely on sanding, it is so tedious, and the risk of rounding off some of the detail is significant.

I’ve also given some thought to bleaching on a previous project. It turned out not to be necessary, but the resource I found that seemed to be the most potent and cost effective was those great big tablets that they use to chlorinate swimming pools.

I had not heard about the oxalic acid, I need to look into that.

Again, thanks guys!! – The Lumberjocks never fail me :-)

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

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