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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: Varnish removal on spindal bed

Posted By: Greg Scholl <beatkat@adelphia.net> (ct-waterbury1b-56.wtrbct.adelphia.net)
Date: 2/21/5 13:14

In Response To: Re: Varnish removal on spindal bed (Frances)

Hi Frances, furniture with a lot of carving or turnings is always a big challenge to strip well...and a very messy undertaking. That type of varnish (or "black shellac" as I have heard it referred to..). is very sticky when dissolved and a bear to clean off the surface thoroughly. What type of stripper did you try? Unfortunately for this type of finish a stripper high in Methylene Chloride is your best bet, and these strippers are very toxic and can be dangerous. But if you work outside or in a space where you can set up good cross ventilation with a fan or two, perseverance and lots of steel wool, scrub brushes, and a heap of old rags (I like old bath towels or hand towels ripped into 14" squares for this..) and good stripper will get the job done.Please also consider that the waste from this process is also toxic, and needs to be disposed of within your local ordinances. You might consider having and estimate on having it professionally stripped at a REPUTABLE flow over type stripping shop, Bix or similar. I'm assuming it has no veneers and is a solid wood piece here. I recently had a door stripped of that same type of old gooey varnish and cost me $135....when I consider the amount of mess and waste, and danger to my health from exposure to MC...I feel thats well worth the price...and allowed me to get right to the task of finishing the door again...the nice part of the restoration job!

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