Quick Tip: Save Time When Stripping Back Wood
When you need to remove sealer, varnish or wood stain to reveal the raw wood underneath, here's a quick tip that will save you time.
When stripping wood furniture to remove stain, sealer or varnish, you may find it difficult to remove all the material simply by sanding. If the work piece has detailing or there are screws or fittings that hamper the sanding, you may need to resort to this quick and easy method for removing any remaining product.
I recently had my outdoor sofa stripped back to the raw wood. It has been outdoors for quite a few years and has withstood the elements and the knocks and bumps of daily wear really well, but it is time to refinish for the next summer season.
The entire surface was sanded with a Random Orbit Sander and 80-grit sanding pads to remove as much of the finish as possible - without actually getting down to raw wood. It is important not to sand the raw finish with 80-grit as it will rip the surface of the wood and you will need to spend a lot of time fixing this, which you want to avoid.
The trick is to have some fine steel wool and mineral turpentine or lacquer thinners. Dip the steel wool in the turps or thinners and scrub over the stains to remove. The turps or thinners will not harm the wood and will simply evaporate.
With all the dark stain removed, you can move on to applying a new protective finish for your wood furniture. I have started using Fired Earth Velvet Wood for all my indoor and outdoor projects, and yes, it is runny enough to work very well for outdoor furniture. I have applied it to several pieces that sit outdoors all the time, with excellent results.