I would say mineral spirits first.
Followed by a soapy mix after the mineral spirits are gone.
you might need to repeat a few times.
Mineral spirits should melt the wax away, the soapy mix to carry it all off.
Pure naptha should not bother either laquer or varnish. If it has
toluene added you could have a problem.
Coleman fuel works well - but OUTSIDE - well vented, and no source of
spark/ignition. High humidity to eliminate static discharge??
On Saturday, December 14, 2013 10:15:49 AM UTC-6, dadiOH wrote:
Indeed the preferred soil/dirt and polish furniture wax remover. Often the
polish is the problem to begin with when you see accumulation of gunk in d
etails, corners, inside corners, etc.
Cheap polish/furniture wax is loaded with all kinds of silicones, waxes, an
d resins. Amazingly, it sticks well to surfaces while offering little prot
ection. And of course the worst are the ones that claim to "nourish" the w
ood... how do you nourish a piece of material that is sealed?
I would go with naptha over anything else as it is tried and true. Get a h
andful of paper towels before you start and go to the dollar store and get
the multi pack of cheap tooth brushes to use when cleaning. While you are
there get some toothpicks, and if a pair of rubber gloves to wear. You are
set! Do your cleaning in a <<well ventilated>> place and it should be a f
airly easy task.
Thank you for your comments - always appreciate the benefit of your experience.
Went to the local box store for the naphtha - brand carried is Klean Strip VM&P naphtha.
Following note was in the instructions for use: 'Do not use as a general purpose cleaner.'
Is there another variety / brand of naphtha preferred for use as a cleaner?
Suspect the cautionary note is legal CYA.
On Monday, December 23, 2013 10:10:10 AM UTC-6, Doug wrote:
p VM&P naphtha.
Doug - a one in a million chance I am here! I don't get to this group much
so good for both of us.
The naptha you have found is Varnish Maker's and Painter's Naptha. It is n
ot known for its purity, but rather for the fact that it will thin varnish
and paint successfully. It allows a very wide spectrum of ingredients and
mixtures of the same to hit the lowest common denominator of simply being a
ble to thin an oil based product.
Naptha has the "not to be used as a cleaner" warning posted in it as there
were several different solutions of naptha used for decades as dry cleaning
fluids. So when you took your dress suit to the cleaners, they used napth
a or a solution with naptha in it to clean it, along with other non washabl
e clothes. Find that out, it was a short cut for many to clean their non w
ashables themselves with a small can of naptha (my Dad kept "Energine" arou
nd when I was a kid) to hit spots and possible stains. Naptha was widely u
sed as a utility cleaner in the manufacturing and industrial community as w
ell. There are too many other cleaners that do the job better and safer th
ese days for those applications.
But naptha still has its place. Go to a real paint store (not Home Depot,
Lowe's, etc.) like Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore and get some real, fi
rst brew naptha. Most naptha is recycled cleaning agents from heavy indust
ry and is a mix of all kinds of stuff (as most thinners are). This isn't i
llegal as "naptha" is simply a trade name, not an exact product. However,
the stuff you get at the paint store will be minimally blended, so there wi
ll be much less chance of that product reacting with anything that might be
left behind on your furniture.
My lucky day you were reading rec.woodworking! Is there another newsgroup where you more
frequently post? Your detailed guidance / instructions have been invaluable to me in
several instances and greatly appreciated.
Was curious as to what VM&P meant - now I know. I too recall Energine - nasty smelling
stuff my mom used for the same purpose as did your dad.
The VM&P MSDS identifies the main ingredient (95-100%) as petroleum ether. Only
recollection I have of ether is that in gaseous form it burns exceedingly rapidly.
Will check the local Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore stores to get the 'good stuff' and
Thanks again and best wishes to you and your family for a safe, healthy, and very Merry
I will continue to look for your most helpful / informative posts, however frequent they
Recall some time ago a regular poster in rec.woodworking suggested you write a book on
finishing - I understood the suggestion to be absolutely serious.
If you do - please let me know - I will certainly buy it.
As you note there is a large volume of misinformation disseminated via the Internet - just
the way it is unfortunately. That being the case - is most rewarding to find the real
deal from folks that know from their personal experiences - as you do.
While finishing may not be rocket science - use the wrong mix of products, improper
preparation, not suited for the material in question - and as someone reminded me once -
its' back to the belt sander!
It is most ironic that the more one knows about a subject, the more you know you don't
BIG Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and experience!
That was me, and I'm ghost writing it. ;)
Just kidding, but I have saved all of Roberts posts on finishing, since
2007 when that remark was made, in a folder on my hard drive just
waiting for the opportunity for Robert to write that book.
... IOW, Wobbit, most of the work is already done, but you still too
Checking the local paint retailers, Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Pratt&Lambert,
Sherwin Williams is the only one that carries naphtha - currently offering two types -
VM&P and hi-flash (100 flash, Solvesso 100).
Per the SW literature, the hi-flash is slow evaporating - 40 minutes to evaporate 90% vs 4
minutes for the VM&P, with a solvent strength of 5 out of 10 vs. 2 for the VM&P.
Appears the hi-flash is the much hotter / stronger of the two solvents. Not sure if it
would be hot enough to lift the finish - which would be a disaster for my application.
The SW product summary sheet for the VM&P product also states it is a weak, fast
evaporating, and very good for solvent cleaning when using alkyd topcoats.
Which of the two would you suggest for removing furniture wax / polish?
Apparently Energine has been discontinued and there is no similar replacement product.
On Monday, December 30, 2013 11:04:22 AM UTC-6, Doug wrote:
Not sure if it
I would go with the VM&P for a couple of reasons. First, I know it works,
so that makes me happy. Second, if you use a really hot solvent for cleani
ng(in this case you are trying to dissolve and loosen material) it can be v
ery hard to control.
Say for example, the finish under the layer of accumulated debris and gunk
is damaged. When you are working on it, if there is even a hairline crack y
ou can dissolve the material you are trying to clean away and have it penet
rate to the wood below the finish by going through a crack or weak spot in
the finish. This can happen anyway, but repeated applications of a higher
VOC to get the working time you need to clean will certainly increase your
chances of doing this.
So... what happens when you penetrate the finish with your hot solvent? It
can easily drag polish and cleaning remnants including oils, silicones, gre
ase, etc. into the wood to discolor it. It can also stain the wood to the
point it can't be colored to match. And worse, if you are doing this as a
refinish or a partial refinish you can foul the cleaned areas so much with
dissolved finishing, polishing and cleaning materials that it will foul you
r finish as well.
The point is that you aren't looking for any kind of penetration at all, bu
t rather trying to avoid it. Use only as much solvent as you need to remov
e what you need to in order to get it as clean as you need it for your expe
ctations. Personally, to control as much as possible any cleaning agent, (
I would strongly suggest this to you) I pour my cleaning agent/solvent into
a small bowl or cup and dip the cleaning brush in the cup. Loosen the gun
k, wipe your
brush on a rag to remove debris, then dip back into the solution. Wipe you
r "cleaning in process" area frequently so that you can keep the loosened d
ebris from hardening on your project again, but just as importantly to give
the area in process a careful visual examination.
Thank you Robert! - will get the VM&P ASAP.
If I may ask - how was that authentic Cajun gumbo? All food Cajun is a favorite -
although since shell fish is on my cannot eat list, miss out on most of the really good
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