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Restoring very old wood.

(6 Posts)
marzipanpig Wed 02-Jan-13 11:43:19

I have some old shelves which are covered in some sort of varnish, I think. It looks like bubbled creosote - dark brown and very rough like badly burned treacle. The wood is pitch pine circa 1933.

I think there will be wax polish, varnish and maybe some sort of stain to remove?

HappyAsASandboy Wed 02-Jan-13 11:53:57

I have recently taken something very similar off our banisters smile

I was using a heat gun on the painted parts, so tried it in the varnish-type stuff. It sort of worked, but left the varnish in burnt clumps to be sanded off (which was quite easy TBH).

On the trickier to reach parts, I used Nitromors paint stripper. It was great, and just washed the varnish off (after sitting for a lot longer than the time it says on the tin.

To get a lovely finish to revarnish, you'll then need to sand it all down with fine paper smile

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Wed 02-Jan-13 12:02:10

I sanded mine off, hard going though (1950's table) Make sure you wear a mask as it will be lead paint

marzipanpig Wed 02-Jan-13 12:31:06

shock I forgot about lead paint.

Thank you. I will do a small test piece to see how it comes up. How did you both finish your wood? Did you wax it?
I bet the banisters and table look amazing!

mermaidbutmytailfelloff Wed 02-Jan-13 12:41:37

I love old wood.

Turpentine and linseed oil makes a good cleaner and finisher. google it for the proportions, it varies whether you want to use it to clean or to finish. A much nicer finish than wax imho. I have done my staircase in it and it is wearing well (we are a shoe-free house though). Some old finishes will come off with this mix.

If you do need to use paint stripper though the cheapest is wallpaper paste mixed with caustic soda - but needs extreme care, industrial gloves and other such precautions.

marzipanpig Wed 02-Jan-13 12:48:11

There is something quite magical about old wood and I wanted these shelves to breathe but not lose their character.

<adds turps, linseed oil and caustic to list>

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