Are there any UK products that help in stripping an old polyurethane varnish
finish off an oldish pine referctory table - it's a nice table, but not
antique or anything...
Orbital sanders are only making token differences... is there a product to
ease this - I want to Danish Oil the final cleaned table...
Don't grind it off with sanders. Unless you want to spend a lot of
time on sanding and money on sandpaper, this can be a lot more tedious
than it is worth. I refinish a lot of entryway doors, and I always
strip, then sand. I have never, ever, had any kind of luck removing
exterior finishes.such as polys or paints with any soy or citrus
products. They do seem to leave the surface clean, but don't so much
For poly or varnish, I use a methyl chloride based stuff and it seems
to work the best. I apply as needed, but don't use scrapers or
spatulas or any of that stuff. I use the stiffest nylon brush I can
find and handfulls of clean sawdust as an abrasive to remove the
I apply the stripper liberally, cover with cheap (.89) drop cloth and
let it set. I uncover a little of the surface (leave as much covered
as you can so your stripper will continue to work) and broadcast about
an 1/8 to 1/4 inch of sawdust on the exposed area. Literally, you
should "scrub" the finish off. The brush will get into every small
crack and crevice, and the sawdust will abrade the finish off, and
absorb the gunk making this process a lot less painfull.
Apply more stripper and sawdust as needed. Occasionally, I need to
apply another light coat of stripper and reclean as needed.
YOU MUST observe good safety when using a good quality stripper. The
good stuff will raise a red, burning welt in seconds from touching it
with bare skin, although it easily washes off. Go here for an
I have tried this other method with surprising success, but it is
really only useful for flat surfaces (table tops) or areas where you
cannot use stripper. This is diffcult to do with profiled surfaces
such as spindle turned legs, edge profiled trim, etc., even with the
profiled scrapers that are available for his method. The good news is
that the poly is the least resistant to being removed in this manner.
It is a tedious way to strip, but you don't have the cost of the
stripper, or any worries about fumes. It is easy to scorch your
project though, and in cases of clear resealing, you can discolor the
wood from heating and melting the resins over it. Sanding will
probably cure that, though.
Hope this helps!
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