Peel Away 6
Iv’e had good and bad luck with this product. I’ve used it to remove latex paint and to remove shellac. It works but you have to catch it just right. If you wait too long it is gets really hard to get off. It doesn’t get the paint out of the pores of the wood very well. But it is safe and it doesn’t burn your skin like other strippers can. I tried it using the paper especially made for it. That helps keep it moist so it doesn’t dry out before it works. But I had as good a success without the paper. It’s messy. All strippers are messy. I’d much rather use a heat gun or card scraper than to use stripper. I use stripper for moldings because they are too hard to scrape and not damage the detail. They advertise this as not raising the grain. But the cleanup is water which does raise the grain and unless you sand the residue away, you will be raising the grain. I found borax (the laundry powder additive) as in 20 mule team borax, mixed with warm water (make it a strong solution) gets rid of that sliminess that is left behind. I use a sponge that has the scratchy stuff on one side and wipe and rinse, wipe and rinse until the wood is clean.
I use one all the time. It saves you from having to strip the wood. It’s good to lightly scrape off paint drips or shellac drips. It save money on sandpaper, too. Shellac is hard to sand off because the friction of the heat causes the shellac to gum up and you’ll get those “corn” balls on your sandpaper that will end up scratching up your wood. The card scraper removes shellac pretty easily by scraping. It takes just a little bit of practice to get the angle right and to learn to sharpen but well worth it.
Timbermate Wood Filler
I had to mail order this product. I fell for the commercials on YouTube. I’ve tried a few times filling the grain of deep oak grain. I wasn’t real happy with the results. For one thing, it is water-based (which is a good thing.) But as I spread it across the board, the board sucked the water right out of it. I took a spray bottle and sprayed it as I worked it to keep it wet. After it was dry and sanded smooth, I put some shellac on it. The grain still showed quite a bit in the raking light. I’m still experimenting with it.
It has a strange odor. I used white oak filler and it matched my white oak really good. You can sand it off and save the dust to put back in the tub and use again.
I love shellac and I hate shellac. It is hard to work with on anything with a grain. I started out using the regular button shellac. It has wax and seemed to sand off much better. Now I use dewaxed shellac flakes. My favorite is the garnet color. I mix my own with denatured alcohol. The dewaxed seems more brittle to me when it dries more so than the waxed shellac. But the advantage to the dewaxed shellac is you can put other types of finishes over the shellac and not have it a problem with it not adhering over time. Note: I have used a hvlp sprayer and had great results. But I rarely get a chance to use it in our area because of the humidity in the summer spraying it outside causing it to blush and because you don’t want to be spraying it the house in the winter. The mist would be alcohol.
So far I love Waterlox. It’s terribly expensive and it stinks. But it looks really pretty. I just used it on our oak floors and the color is beautiful. It’s a lot of work, though. The downside is the slow drying time. It takes hours and hours to dry. In the meantime, hair (mine and cat) dust or anything floating in the air will settle on it before it dries. But, to me, still worth it. I used some leftover on the gate I made a few years ago. I normally have to sand it down and put spar varnish on it every fall. I didn’t have time this year. I had some leftover Waterlox Original, and though this particular kind of Waterlox is not made for exterior uses, I wiped my gate off with a rag and I gave it two coats. It has been an extremely cold winter with snow and ice and the gate looks terrific. No signs of peeling or checking. I may just buy the marine Waterlox and use it from now on. You don’t have to sand between coats. It melts into the previous coats. That’s the part I hated about the spar varnish. It was so much work to have to sand it down before reapplying. I’ll update this and see how it holds up in our summer. The regular Waterlox doesn’t have UV protectors in it so it may not hold up in the summer without top coating it with the marine Waterlox.
You really can’t beat it for getting rid of grease. For washing walls use 1 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup baking soda in a gallon of warm water. It works good for greasy grime. Don’t use on woodwork that is finished with shellac.
I love how latex cleans up with water but I hate the paint otherwise. If you ever tried to remove it with a heat gun, you’d know it smears like caulking where oil paint would blister and scrape right off. Latex also gets sticky here in the east on a long stretch of humid, hot days. Windows stick, my shutters even stick and they were painted more than 3 years ago. I think from now on, I’ll use oil based paint on all woodwork that will be painted.