Before you do a refinish of your furniture, you require an effective chemical stripping agent to help you remove the varnish. In choosing a varnish remover, the effectiveness of the stripper is an important consideration. You have to choose a chemical stripper that is quick and safe to use. It’s important to first verify if the said stripper is actually a varnish remover. This article takes you through the various options of varnish remover and how to settle on the best.
What should you consider in a Varnish Remover?
First, you have to consider the potency of the varnish remover. Strong paint strippers have an upper hand in removing thicker finishes. Secondly, you should go for a chemical stripper that is safer to use. Even though most strippers are flammable, it’s important to go for the one that has fewer dangers. Additionally, you should consider the price of the strippers. The price should coincide with the effectiveness of the stripper. Lastly, you should consider the form of the stripper. Most-effective varnish removers come in liquid and semi-paste form.
What are the Best Varnish Removers?
Before buying the varnish stripper, it’s crucial to ascertain that your furniture finish is varnish. If it’s not varnish, then there is no need for the chemical stripper as you can use ordinary caustic chemicals. To check for varnish, you should look at the finish closely. Varnish is heavy and mostly, amber colour. You can also identify brush stroke on the wood finish and these are normally absent in thin finishes. The following groups of chemical strippers are the best for varnish removal:
- Methylene Chloride Agents: These stripping chemicals are regarded as the strongest. The strippers are effective against heavy varnish coats. Varnish strippers of this category also contain other components such as caustic to neutralise their strong adverse effects. Methylene Chloride irritates the skin and the eyes. It’s recommended to wear safety gears such as the goggle’s and gloves when working with these varnish strippers.
- N-Methyl-2-Pyrrolidone (NMP) Strippers: Due to the health concerns linked to methylene chloride strippers, some manufacturers substitute methylene chloride with NMP. NMP is considered less toxic and safer to use. Even though the chemical strippers are not as strong as Methylene chloride, the stripping effects are fair. There are situations where the chemical strippers would contain portions of potent stripping chemicals such as methanol, ketone, and toluene. The agents are known to cling finely to vertical wood surfaces, thus effective in varnish removing. Maybe the only concern is that the chemicals are flammable.
- Biochemical Strippers: These are the safest strippers to use mainly because they are of plant origin. Important chemicals in these strippers include citric acid (from lemon or oranges), terpene (from pine), and lactic acid (from pulp). The advantages of these strippers are:
- They are eco-friendly, thus safe
- Odourless when using, thus flexible
Overall, the varnish removers are important if you want to do a refinish. Getting the right stripper is vital if you want to achieve the best results. With an effective stripper, you get value for your money as you also enjoy great varnish removal.