Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dining Room Table re-do: A Face lift for an old friend-Pt.2: cleaning off the varnish

Hi Everyone,
I'm back. I've gotten the top cleaned off and I'm amazed at how easy it was. Here's some photos and explanations:

I really flooded the top of the table with remover and left it for about 40 minutes and came back and you can see how the varnish is bubbling up:

The old varnish and the remover came right off very easily. It took about 10 minutes to completely scrap off the top and edges:

There were still a few spots of varnish left so I gave the top another thin coat this time and removed that after about 15 minutes-it's down to bare wood now:

I took the scraper and scraped it completely clean. I think took a paper towel and removed any remaining blobs of remover and then I scrubbed the top well with mineral spirits and a nylon scrub pad and here it is, all cleaned off:

I was really dreading this part of the project. In the old days, before dinosaurs, paint removers were really nasty. They took multiple layers of remover to get paint and varnish off of wood and it burned your skin if you got some of it yourself. It was a mess to clean up and it turned anything it touched into jelly. I used Citristrip for this and it worked perfectly. It's easy to clean up and it really took off all that old varnish very easily. I'll use this stuff again in the future.

I looked at the table carefully as sanding was going to be my next step. The table top is pine and it was originally a bright yellow color but it has darkened over time. That and it has a million dents and a lot of wear and I kinda hate to remove all that. Sanding it would just turn it back into a wooden table top and erase it's history. And we all know the wood fairies wouldn't be too happy with that so I'm going to rub down the table again with a nylon scrub pad to make sure the top is completely remover free and just leave it alone. I'll rub wipe on polyurethane next.

Now tomorrow, I'll go and get the pipe for the bottom. I plan to re-create the trestle base out of pipe and you'll see how easy it is to do this. I'll provide a list of the pipe I use and lots of photos so stay tuned.

See you tomorrow,

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