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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: restore antique secretary

Posted By: roger demuth <fero@sbcglobal.net> (adsl-69-221-175-26.dsl.akrnoh.ameritech.net)
Date: 4/26/5 08:35

In Response To: Re: restore antique secretary (James Schooley)

I once read a book that gave a 2 page description on how to set up a dipping vat, and how to proceed with the operation. The last sentence in the instructions was "now throw the piece away......its ruined".

Commercially available strippers like James mentioned are safe though. Just don't be mislead by the labels that claim they are "heavy duty". The only thing heavier to me is the price. Currently my favorite is KleenStrip paste. $14 a gallon. There are strippers available that will remove multiple layers of paint but the cost is more than using mulitple layers of stripper by far.

The biggest problem in stripping paint comes where the piece was stripped to bare wood before painting, but quite often the paint is put right over the original finish. If it goes on bare wood the paint gets into the pores of the wood and is very difficult to get out. When I have that happen I put a thin film of stripper on, let it sit then using a brass brush gently scrub with the grain. This will usually take it out. You may have a little left but after staining it becomes hardly noticeable. I usually clean up with lacquer thinner, scrubbing the surface with a Scotchbrite pad or coarse steel wool. You can use Naptha or Acetone too but I prefer lacquer thinner because most of the work I do is on old lacquer finishes and the thinner will remove almost all of any remaining finish. This of course assumes the bottom layer is lacquer.

Painting old beautiful wood was a popular thing to do in the twenties so you are probably dealing with lead based paint so don't even think about sanding the paint off.

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