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Stripping and Finishing

Do you have an antique or older piece of furniture that needs some work?
Would you like to refinish that piece you picked up at that yard sale?
Do you need to remove that annoying ring on your table?
Are you planning to paint over that old furniture or your kitchen cabinets?
Do you want to restore the woodwork in your home?

If you answered yes to any of these questions or have a similar project in mind you are in the right place. At Dettmann-Claus our practiced professionals have extensive experience striping and staining all types of woodwork, furniture and cabinetry. Listed below are the important points everyone should consider when contemplating striping staining and refinishing wood surfaces.

Step 1) Identify the Woods Finish
Not all paint strippers are appropriate for all finishes. Most clear wood finishes will be either an oil base finish such as Lacquer, Varnish and Polyurethane or a water base finish such as Acrylic Urethane and Water Bourne Polyurethane. Fortunately there are only 2 general types of paint, Alkyd (aka oil base) and Acrylic or Latex. Solvents will be used to test for the type of finish.

Step 2) Prepare the Work Area
Protect surrounding areas and the floor. Stripping paint off wood is a messy job plus chemical strippers aren’t selective about what it strips. We cover floors with a butyl coated drop cloth and furniture with lightweight plastic.
If possible we will work outside and in the shade. We still work over drop cloths and protect adjacent surfaces.

Step 3) Applying the Paint Stripper
The main problem with paint stripping is not allowing enough time for the finish to be lifted. When the finish begins to look wrinkled or raw wood can be exposed while rubbing with steel wool, the finish is ready to be scraped off.

Step 4) Removing the Stripper and Loosened Finish
To remove the stripper and loosened finish without damaging the wood we use a wide and smooth metal putty knife. We custom file the corners round to avoid gouging the wood. Other tools that work very well for intricate areas and grooves are steel wool, an old toothbrush, dentistry tools and small putty knives.
We will use a fine steel wood to remove paint from the woods grain. After the first coat of stripper is removed we may find areas that retain some finish. We will simply repeat the above methods.
Multiple layers of old oil base paint will require the application and scraping of multiple coats of paint stripper.

Step 5) Cleaning the Surface
After all the old finish has been removed we will clean the surface to remove any remaining stripper and neutralize the residue. Usually water for water based strippers and mineral spirits for oil base strippers.
Some companies claim that cleaning isn’t necessary after paint stripping. Experience has shown that it is always advisable to clean off all residues before continuing with the refinishing.

Dettmann-Claus is an expert with wood refinishing techniques and processes!

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