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Stripping Polyurethane from Oak Bowl

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Forum topic by WaffleM posted 07-14-2020 01:31 AM 260 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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WaffleM

8 posts in 1384 days


07-14-2020 01:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: refinishing polyurethane oak stripper finishing

I need to refinish an oak bowl that is coated in polyurethane. I tested a spare piece of oak with Citristrip, but it discolored the oak, darkening it with a dull brown-gray shade. Can anyone recommend a stripper that won’t effect the oak’s color or am I just stuck sanding the poly off?
Thanks,
-Matt

-- What could possibly go wrong?!?


5 replies so far

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LesB

2573 posts in 4248 days


#1 posted 07-14-2020 02:47 AM

Scraping with a paint scraper and sanding are probably the most fool proof way I would use.
If you have a lathe remounting it on the lathe “might” work but when I have tried it the bowl has usually warped out of round and can’t be cleaned up without removing too much wood.

-- Les B, Oregon

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Lazyman

5655 posts in 2192 days


#2 posted 07-14-2020 03:19 AM

They took the chemical (methylene chloride?) out of the strippers like Citrus Strip that made it work well so most of the over the counter strippers probably won’t have much effect on the poly finish. You are pretty much stuck with sanding. If you have a way to mount it on a lathe, I would use the lathe to sand it . Just use the slowest possible speed and use a drill with a 2 or 3 inch sanding disk. It probably won’t take too long. If no way to use a lathe, I would still use the sanding disk.

What are you planning to finish it with after you have it stripped.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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BurlyBob

7703 posts in 3070 days


#3 posted 07-14-2020 04:08 AM

Acetone.

View WaffleM's profile

WaffleM

8 posts in 1384 days


#4 posted 07-15-2020 01:51 AM

The bowl is oval, so there’s no hope of getting in on my lathe. I’ve tested acetone on some plain oak and so far there’s no discoloration of the wood. I’ll definitely test it out on actual bowl next. Sanding and scraping will be Plan C.

For the new finish, I’m going to use my home brewed friction polish, or O.B. Shine Juice. The traditional recipe is one part boiled linseed oil, one part liquid shellac, and one part denatured alcohol. I’ve swapped all the ingredients with food-safe options: one part walnut oil, one part homemade shellac (from flakes and grain alcohol), and one part grain alcohol (190 proof or higher). It seems to work pretty well, but the shellac can go bad so it needs to be mixed in small batches.

-- What could possibly go wrong?!?

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LesB

2573 posts in 4248 days


#5 posted 07-15-2020 09:38 PM

I would make one observation about your proposed new finish. Shellac is easily affected by alcohol and will not stand up to water very long.

It is well established that almost all commercial finishes are non toxic after they have cured, including poly. I have had great results with both General and Behlen salad bowl finishes. They wipe on easily and with a light sanding between 3 or 4 coats produce a very durable finish.

-- Les B, Oregon

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