Keep surfaces moist? and another question


Hi,
I read the following in a howto on refinishing furniture: "Again, keep the surfaces moist while you are working, to avoid drying out the wood" when talking about using semi-paste and liquid strippers. When they say "moist", do they mean "moist with the stripper" or just dampening the surface with a wet rag or something?
Also, I don't quite understand the need to remove *all* of old finish. If there's a sanding step there anyway, and sanding is bound to take of a little bit of wood, but not let it take of the 5% of the old finish with it?
Thanks!
Aaron Fude
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Sounds to me like you are confusing "resurfacing" and "refinishing". If you are "resurfacing" or just wanting to add another coat of varnish or poly or,,,, you just need to scuff up the surface with sand paper and then recoat. Stripper is not used. If you "refinishing" then you need to remove all the old finish down to the bare wood and start over at the beginning. When using stripper, it only works when it is wet. Therefore you have to keeping adding stripper or covering the area with paper or plastic giving the stripper some time to work before scrapping it off. You then have to sand the whole surface to remove any stripper residue. JG
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Thank you! That clarified a lot and explained why yesterday was such a fiasco. Yes, I meant refinishing.
Thanks again,
Aaron
JGS wrote:

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Sanding is really necessary if you are using a chemical stripper. Many refinishing jobs that don't call for a water rinse can be finished directly after a good solvent wipe down. The grain isn't significantly raised with organic solvents. By not sanding, you can also preserve some of the patina that is in / on the wood rather than in / on the finish. Having said that, I like to go over a stripped piece lightly with 180 for softwoods or 220 with hardwoods.
Good Luck.

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