Safety is IMPORTANT! Work with plenty of ventilation—ALWAYS use a face shield or safety goggles, chemical resistant gloves, arm guards and a rubber apron.
Liquid stripper can be applied by flow over or by immersion. Stripping liquid can be pumped with a Benco electric or diaphragm pump system. Apply a liberal coat and allow product to strip all coatings prior to removal. Keep the furniture piece as flat in the tank as possible to keep fumes low and away from operator. Thin coatings and clear finishes will usually strip in 2-30 minutes. For items with multiple coatings, apply repeated liberal coats of stripper until all finishes are removed. Avoid brushing until the base coat is loosened from the surface. If the product has dried on the surface, reapply a coat of stripper prior to removal of finish for best results. Stripped finishes can be removed with a brush or squeegee. In a flow system, allow stripped residue to settle in container and decant stripper for reuse. For best results once finishes are removed, rinse with water. Denatured alcohol can be used as an alternative to water.
Semi-paste strippers may be applied with a brush or roller, preferably in one direction. Product can also be sprayed with a stainless steel spray system with a Teflon® tip pressure of 200-300 psi. Apply a liberal coat and allow product to strip all coatings prior to removal. Thin coatings and clear finishes will usually strip in 2-30 minutes. For items with multiple coatings, apply a liberal coat of stripper, and then apply a sheet of polyethylene directly to the stripper. The polyethylene sheet will allow the stripper to remain wet and active for several hours. If the product has dried on the surface, reapply a coat of stripper prior to removal of finish for best results. Stripped finishes can be removed with a scraper. Removed finishes with stripper can be reapplied to extend the life of the stripper.
For best results, once finishes are removed from the surface, rinse with water. Denatured alcohol can be used as an alternative to water. If stains remain, rinse with an oxalic solution of 1 pound oxalic acid with 5 gallons of water, let stand for 30 seconds or more and wash the oxalic solution from the surface.
Methylene Chloride based strippers have optimal performance when the chemical is 70 degrees F. The stripper is typically 20 degrees F cooler than the ambient temperature, so it is wise to store off the concrete in colder weather. One can also use a drum heater but do not exceed 75-80 degrees. At high temperatures Methylene Chloride and other solvents in the stripper could be “cooked off” and may also release unhealthy vapors at high heats above 105 degrees F.
Stir your stripper with a broom handle to insure good distribution of chemicals throughout the remover. Chemicals will separate through transport, temperature changes and idle time in your shop. Remember… Stirred not shaken.
Strippers that are non-caustic activated are great on clear finishes and still offer good removal of most paints. Caustic activated strippers are better on painted pieces and slightly more aggressive on stubborn clear finishes. Caustic activated strippers may darken wood but that darkness is easily removed with an oxalic acid rinse as prescribed above.