Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Archive for the 'stripping' Category


Monday, November 1st, 2010

Q: My stepson recently purchased stain from the cabinet supplier of his kitchen. The plan was to match the color to his unfinished crown molding. The color is wrong. Since the molding has contours, it can’t be easily sanded off. Is there a solution for stripping down to bare wood? A: Most stains can be [...]

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Proof of the pudding?

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Q: Is the resistance to strippers a sure indicator of a polyester finish or does it merely suggest it? A: It suggests it, but is not an indicator of polyester alone; it is merely an indicator that the finish is highly cross linked. Polyester is probably the most common of the highly cross linked finishes [...]

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Polyester problems

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Q: Short of sanding it off, is there any way to remove a polyester finish from guitar sides? A: Yes, but it might be faster and easier to sand or scrape it off. For guitars with solid sides, you can make the job easier by working it off with a heat gun. When heated, polyester [...]

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Take it off

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Q: What product can you suggest to remove hempseed oil and beeswax from a table top? A: That depends on how long the hempseed oil was on, and whether or not it was mixed with beeswax or merely applied prior to it. If it was not on long, or if it was mixed with wax, [...]

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Strip resistant finish

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Q: I’ve been in the refinishing business for years, but have just been stumped and need your help. An end table stained red mahogany was brought in for top only refinish due to white water stains splattered all over the surface. It had a very hard semi gloss sheen-finish on it. After stripping, I’ve found [...]

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Not all strippers are created equal

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Q: We are redoing our kitchen cabinets, and tried to remove the finish with Citristrip Stripping Gel. We waited, but had a really hard time getting it off so we stopped and waited a few days. Sanding makes the paper gummy. Is there any easy ways to get this junk off? A: Yes, and you [...]

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Friday, November 6th, 2009

Q: I have a 40 year old dining table with much sentimental value. A refinisher ruined the reddish color many years ago. The two leaves were not refinished. I’d like to restore the entire table to its beautiful original color. The wood is in good condition but the color is blotchy. I believe the finish [...]

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Simpler than stripping

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Q: My oak wood floor was refinished in the spring of ’06 before moving to this house. Now the surface is gone where we walk and needs to be refinished again. The contractor claimed three coats of oil polyurethane were applied. We have dogs and cats and considering the layout I will need to refinish [...]

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Shower Stall Wood Paneling

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Q: I have wood paneling in my shower stalls that need re-doing. I have already sanded and wiped the walls. What would be the best sealer to use? A: Best? The best would be a moisture cured urethane, but it is not easy to come by. Offhand, I know of only one company in Brooklyn, NY currently [...]

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Attack a Tacky Finish

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Q: My friend has a tile kitchen countertop which has an oak border around the tile. The oak trim for some reason has always been tacky to the touch, as if the finish had never really set up. I was wondering if you had heard of something like this and if there is a way [...]

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