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Stripping Varnish: Citristrip (Green) Chemical Strip VERSE Heat Gun and Scraper.

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Forum topic by Blackfin29 posted 10-09-2019 02:10 AM 909 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Blackfin29

125 posts in 682 days


10-09-2019 02:10 AM

I’m curious if anyone has an opinion on which varnish removal approach, chemical or heat, has less ill-effect on the actual wood.

Many know I’m preparing to undertake a massive teak restoration project. Some teak is new, or bare.

Some teak has a varnish on it already.

My theory goes: Heat can’t possibly lift ALL the varnish especially that varnish filling the microscopic pores that were filled during the initial “sealer” coat where I thinned down that varnish way back when.

However, chemical stripping may remove more, but would the residue of the chemical “linger” in the pores? and maybe NOT allowing the next product to seap into the pores on the latest “sealer” coat??

Somebody just tell me to shut up, I’m overthinking this crap!!!

Or maybe someone has an opinion on chemical stripping verse mechanical or heat stripping old varnish from teak.

Thank you all for your patience,

Lou


8 replies so far

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LesB

2206 posts in 3956 days


#1 posted 10-09-2019 05:55 PM

I’m thinking I would use the mechanical method with or without heat. I prefer Warner paint scrapers. The Warner 741 double edge scraper works great and the double edged tempered steel blade is easy to resharpen on a bench grinder or with a fine fine. Cost about $4.00 They make that design in several width sizes. Of all the scrapers I have tried including those with carbide blades this one works best. I have stripped large table tops with it and even house siding..

If you still have residue in the wood grain they you might apply chemical stripper and a scrub brush. You mentioned applying a new finish so any clear residue in the grain should be covered.

-- Les B, Oregon

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Blackfin29

125 posts in 682 days


#2 posted 10-09-2019 11:12 PM

I tend to agree that a combination is ultimately going to be the answer….

Thank you, Sir!!

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ibewjon

1007 posts in 3306 days


#3 posted 10-10-2019 12:17 PM

I also use Soy Gel, it is a good stripper as well. I don’t ever get to strip a flat surface, so a scraper is of limited use.

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Axis39

53 posts in 110 days


#4 posted 10-10-2019 02:15 PM

I recently refinished a cabinet for a client that was covered in old varnish, and a coat of an awful orange paint on top of that. I never even considered heat… But, I tried two different strippers, with very different results.

The first stripper I tried took many, many coats and still left difficult bits in the tight corners of carvings on the door. Very, irritating. It was also more solvent based, difficult to breath around, etc.

I then tried Dumond Smart Strip. It’s water based. It actually smells nice when you use it. But, the reason I am mentioning the name is because it really, really worked! Saved me so much time in the long run and worked on both the paint and the old varnish underneath. It did no damage to the wood underneath. I did use a few different scrapers to get the wet, melted finish off that didn’t come off with the plastic I used to cover the remover.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

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ibewjon

1007 posts in 3306 days


#5 posted 10-10-2019 09:56 PM

Where is it sold? I have a large oak china cabinet to strip. It is painted green. Enough said there.

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Axis39

53 posts in 110 days


#6 posted 10-11-2019 01:16 AM



Where is it sold? I have a large oak china cabinet to strip. It is painted green. Enough said there.

- ibewjon

If you meant my thread, I bought mine at Lowes. But, you can find it online as well.

The system uses paper on top of the wet stripper… It is supposed to keep it damp and working while you wait. I live in the desert, and was doing this work in July (average daily highs 105-110 F). So, I used the thinnest plastic drop cloth (and re-used it once or twice as well). It kept the stripper moist and kept it working. I would usually let it sit on the surface for about an hour (after that, even with plastic, it would dry out and I’d have to reapply). The thin plastic drop cloth was a lot cheaper than the Dumon brand paper!

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

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Blackfin29

125 posts in 682 days


#7 posted 10-11-2019 02:27 AM

I have also used Citristrip with GREAT success and NO smell on other pieces… I highly recommend it, but I’m just a smidge hesitant to add any chemical to my cherished teak.

Thanks all!!!

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ibewjon

1007 posts in 3306 days


#8 posted 10-11-2019 02:45 AM

Thanks. I will be looking on my next trip there.

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