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 Paint stripper awareness and warning
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 7:36:17 PM on 23 June 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 2032

Hello all,
Look I just want to have quick chat about the misconception in using Paint strippers on Cabinets and Radios!!!
I'm doing this in the hope of saving you or somebody else from being heartbroken over a damaged Radio or Cabinet ,,For years people have been bringing me jobs of half finished cabinets that have been stuffed !
1 using paint stripper
Or 2 sanding veneer.

So if you will just bare with me I will explain why this is the case.

If you look at a Can of paint stripper it will more than likely say .
"" paint and Varnish stipper "
Well , this is because oil Paint is Varnish with pigment dye in it , so of course it will removed it and by the time the stripper has burnt through the paint or varnish it mostly does not have enough strength left in it to burn the veneer and make the veneer darker.

The Can does not say ,
Paint stripper for shellac and Nitrocellulose. , Although of course it will burn that off in seconds and then it will start burning and stuffing you're veneer!
You have to think in terms of chemicals.
If its shellac ,then its Alcohol base and there for Alcohol will take it off, no need for stripper.
If its Nitrocellulose, than its lacquer thinner , so lacquer thinner or acetone will take it off.
Now if you have a cabnet and it's a bit stubborn and you need to use a paint stripper than you can ,,,,If you use the right one which is not so harsh .
You need something like KGB Paint Stripper from a paint store and the way we put it on is differant
1 get a bowl of metho
2 only apply the KGB stripper to 1 panel at a time.
3 only leave it on only for a few minutes .
4 remove it with the metho to neutralise it and use steelwool 0003 or 00004 in straight lines with the grain.
5 then move to the next panel.
If you get paint stripper burning your hand, stick it in the metho!
Wear Gogs ,take it from me being in Hornsby Hospital while they put drips in my eyes to get the stripper out its no way to meet a nurse!


You will need to bleach it with Oxalic Acid to return it to its natural colour , but you will loose its aging and it will need sanding with 320 grit
See the following process .

1: 3 tea spoons of Oxalic Acid in a small glass of warm water.
2 : paint it on the bare timber that has been cleaned of ALL stripper.
3: when it is dry . use metho on a cloth to remove and neutralise it.
4 sand with 320 grit in with the grain.
Oxalic Acid is sold at bunnings under the name of Rust and stain remover by diggers.
Do not mix it with other forms of bleach , like house hold bleach as the combination will make a toxic gas,

I can completely understand why a person who has no cabinet restoring experience would just go to bunnings and buy Shelley's quick strip to strip their cabinet. How could you know???
I know nothing about electronics and when I first started to fix my tellie ,I would pull capacitors out and Resistors out willy-nilly and Ian would say ,pete thats the shotgun approach and all you will do is make it worse, well its the same with strippers ,its the shot gun approach.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 7:24:21 AM on 24 June 2017.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 915

Thanks Pete now I know a bit more about strippers.
The other point of interest is STEEL WOOL.
That stuff comes in grades with lots of 0's in front of a number a bit like sandpaper.
A few words on that would be handy and also the use of steel wool.
I can see you can basically scratch stuff with wool but there has to be more to it than that!

 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 8:54:06 AM on 24 June 2017.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 1002

Beware that oxalic acid is toxic.

It is advised for use to treat treated pine that has weathered grey, before painting, so should be widely available.

(It is in rhubarb leaves but luckily not in the ripe stalks.)

 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 9:22:01 AM on 24 June 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 2032

Hello all
STC 830,
Yes it is mild , most timbers bleach ok . We also use house hold bleach and this is why I made the point regarding the gas if they are mixed.
Many timbers will turn grey from weather or stripper.
Oxalic acid sounds terrible, but a chemist told me years ago its no worse than bleach.
It is also used for removing rust.

Oxalic is the standard bleach that we use right across the furniture industry.

In poor countries they use it as a common bath room cleaner.

In using it for over 20 years ,Ive never had a problem with it or heard of a problem with it, within my industry. I have never heard of anyone being injured with it.
You can buy far more dangerous chemicals at Woolies.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 9:33:43 AM on 24 June 2017.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 1002

Yes I agree, not as bad as some home chemicals but rubber gloves, eye protection and ventilation advisable.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 9:47:34 AM on 24 June 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 2032

Yes , I have already told the story of my eyes and paint stripper ,I agree.
I can see you know about chemicals as well. Its amazing really that any nut out there with basic knowledge can go too woolies and buy enough chemicals to really make something very nasty with very little knowledge and thank goodness no one has done it yet.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 12:37:22 PM on 24 June 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 2032

Hello Fred,
I can see that I may need to chat about steel wool a bit and I will do one more post before starting on the cabinet restoration regarding stains. I'll will included a chat about steel wool.
But just as a basic understanding steel can be used to strip, sand, or pollish to a high gloss finish by going from a course abrasive and gradually moving up the scale to a very fine abrasive and then using car cutting compond and finally a grade 1 pollish.
This process changes though depending on your type of top coats, Eg varnish, Shellac, nitro, Danish oil.
Just a note while I'm on that topic of Danish oil . Danish oil is a traditional finish in Europe and the states and most peolpe only know it as a flat finish in Australia, But a Danish oil finish can be easily made to a beautiful high gloss finish using nothing more than your 2 hands steel wool and some rags.
We might talk about that finish at some stage as it truly is a deep penetrating oil finish and creates a beautiful finish that can be done easily at home.

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