I am stripping wood all through out my house, and have found that under 1
or 2 coats of paint there is a nice finish already on the wood.
The heat gun is doing a great job of getting most of the paint off, but I
can't avoid leaving some smears and spots here and there.
My question is: will turpentine, lacquer thinner, or anything of the like
remove the small smears and spots of paint, but keep the existing stain and
finish intact? I want to avoid the hassle of sanding and restaining, and
the finish is completely clean of paint in some parts, so I thought this
might be a good option.
Thanks for your advice.
I depends on what the finish underneath is.
If it's a conversion varnish, shellac, or polyurethane, lacquer
thinner or paint thinner usually won't hurt it, unless it gets
If it's lacquer nothing except for lacquer thinner will soften it.
If it's shellac, the only solvent that will soften it is alcohol.
The chance of removing the paint and leaving a usable finish is low,
but you may be left with a surface good enough to lightly sand and
renew the clear finish. Again, this depends on what clear finish it
One correction. Lacquer thinner will dissolve, or at least soften,
shellac. Lacquer thinner
contains alcohol. The type and proportion vary which is why the shellac may
only soften. Usually, it will dissolve.
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