I was going through a wood salvage store and discovered a bunch of
molding and trim pieces of tiger maple. One really nice wide piece of
crown molding as well as some other smaller pieces that are now sitting
in my garage.
The question is how to clean them. Some pieces only seem to have a
clear finish on them but others have a darker finish (I'm hoping that
they were not stained).
the question is how to best clean them of finish etc
On something like molding, I would personally strip it with a chemical
stripper. With the profiles of the moldings, it is almost impossible
to sand or scrape finish off in a way that completely preserves the
crisp edges of beads, coves and any other features.
Try this to get inside the corners and edges or your molding: apply
stripper as directed, and when ready for removal, put in a heavy coat
of sawdust on top of the stripper and scrub off the
stripper/sawdust/finish with a stiff brush. I rarely scrape anything
anymore, as a good heavy brush (I use a grout cleaning brush from
Dollar General) will get every nook and cranny using the sawdust as a
mild abrasive. As a bonus, the gooey finish doesn't goe everywhere as
the sawdust absorbs all the moisture and makes the finish and stripper
turn into a damp sawdust that is easily swept away.
If your other pieces are stained, then you should probably be thinking
of applying a toner or some sort over all the wood to make it match
should you use it all on the same project. Stripper won't remove stain
applied to bare wood, only sanding will. Then you are back to the same
problem you have with sanding profiles to remove finish.
But I would try the stripper on a colored pieces also as it might be a
colored lacquer, in which case you won't have problems getting off the
color if the wood was prepped first.
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