Won't do much for stain. Stripper will take the top coat off, but stain
penetrates the wood a bit. If it is an even color you may be able to stain
over the existing stain (once the varnish is off). Gel stain may work best
I disagree with that...I've refinished lots of wood and methylene?
stripper will take out most of the stain. I've never used the citrus
stuff. Not all of it, of course. Stripped dark walnut-stained oak
kitchen cabinets and they turned out a gorgeous medium brown like
natural, clear-finished oak does. Assuming the present finish is
varnish, and not more than a couple of coats, two apps. of stripper
would take the varnish and most of the stain. When stripper is allowed
to soak, it becomes evident that the stripper becomes colored and is
taking out stain. It is a nasty job to do in place on a bannister, so
protecting everything around the item being stripped is important.
Removing finish from a flat piece of wood by sanding would be a lot
easier than sanding shaped wood. Overzealous sanding could do damage.
At best, it would be tedious. Perhaps more economical to simply replace it?
Try cheapest fix first- deep-clean it with Murphy's or Formby's or
similar. You may be pleasantly surprised, and only need to touch up a
few wear spots with gel stain, and then wax. Banisters and such are
magnets for collecting hand oils, grime and general household gunk,
since the finish is usually pretty soft, especially in warm humid weather.
On most bare wood, I prefer regular oil stain. On wood that is potentially
blotchy or has color already, get seems to work better in that you can apply
it as heavy as needed. you can build the stain color on the wood faster.
Wear latex gloves and use an old T shirt to apply.
I am going with your idea.
I have used Klean Strip Stripper before.
Learned quickly to use gloves, it burns something fierce if it gets on
I am charging an hourly rate for this job.
I expect it'll take longer that it looks.
Removing most of the stain from any common wood is a pretty good
starting point for changing the color. When methylene stripper is left
to soak long enough, it really penetrates the wood..makes it kind of
mushy. I always scrape and then scrub it with steel wool and mineral
spirits. I would not try to strip a bannister in place unless I was
doing the whole thing...uprights, steps, etc.
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