View Full Version : Removing Varnish
05-05-2008, 06:31 AM
Recommend a good chemical stripper. How well do the citrus-based products work on old varnish in mostly poor condition? It's for a canoe. With all the small spaces between the ribs, I'd like to minimize manual removal as much as possible.
05-05-2008, 07:13 AM
The old reliable, strong lye solution, will probably work fastest. I remember it at a nickel a pound. Now it is hard to find and about two bucks.
Be sure to wear eye protection. It is far more hazardous to eyes than most anything else because it jells the eye tissue ans is almost impossible to wash out.
05-05-2008, 07:13 AM
Can't recommend a stripper.
But do have a suggestion..
It will keep you from reapplying the stripper over and over because it does have a tendency to dry out quickly.
Buy some saran wrap and lay it over the stripper after applying it. It will keep the stripper from drying out and allow it to work faster and more completely.
05-05-2008, 07:28 AM
Lye...yikes! I don't know it would EVER wash out of the wood.
05-05-2008, 09:15 AM
recent thread on strippers (http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=77968)
I had the same question, posed a bit differently.
05-05-2008, 09:21 AM
I just removed varnish with Citristrip, the orange stuff, and was very impressed with how it worked. I only was removing 2-3 coats, but it took care of those with only about 20 minute soak time. They say you can leave it overnight without it drying out, if you need to get a deeper soak. It cleaned up nicely, and is not nearly as toxic as the other stripping compounds I've used. I would not hesitate to use it again.
05-05-2008, 09:31 AM
Although I have not tried this product, the fact that it is non toxic is appealing.
05-05-2008, 09:38 AM
Thanks, Lew. I priced the soystrip...holy cow! Think I'll use citristrip, simply because I can afford it. Thx, Montana!
05-05-2008, 06:43 PM
the soystrip is Re-Usable, over an over.Great hang time too, and NON Toxic to the skin.I have a gallon(now about3/4) of soystrip I bought at the 1996 WBshow, still works awesome, and i have stripped a lot of wood, believe me.
05-05-2008, 06:53 PM
Don't give up on the Soy Strip quite so quickly. I bought a quart just to try it out and still have 2/3 of the bottle left, having stripped some really tenacious castings and a few items at home as well. A little dab might do ya. It's like comparing oranges and edimami?
It is a very nice product.
05-06-2008, 07:24 AM
Soy....hmmmm...the girlfriend would be happy I finally took a liking to soy....
05-07-2008, 07:39 AM
Neutralize the lye with a white vinegar wash.
05-07-2008, 11:28 AM
I think I'll go with the less toxic stuff....
05-18-2008, 03:43 AM
What type of store does one by lye? Mix with water? Then just splash it on? Just kidding about the latter.
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