Sanding

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GaryFera
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Sanding

Postby GaryFera » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:12 pm

I am in the process of stripping the table shown below. It is solid oak and the stripping gel is doing a very good job of removing the old layers of finish. After the stripping gel I am washing the pieces thoroughly with denatured alcohol.

I have a few questions because I really don’t understand the chemistry of what is happening when oil based stain and oil based wipe on top coats interact with the wood and with each other.

1. Can I apply new stain without sanding?

2. Is the sanding step necessary to ensure that the old finish has been completely removed?

3. Or does the sanding step provide smoothness and simultaneously help the new finish adhere better?

4. Will the new stain adhere even if some parts of the old finish have not been completely removed in the nooks and crannies?

Thank you.

Gary
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Bob Boardman
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Postby Bob Boardman » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:12 pm

I'd use paint thiner instead of alcohol to wipe down after stripping. The thinner will remove residue better than the alcohol, and has a longer open time. It will also highlight the areas in which there is still some leftover stain or finish.

If old finish isn't removed, those areas will have a different color than areas with no finish, once the stain is applied.

Sanding helps 1) remove thin layers of leftover finish or stain, 2) removes any "hairs" or raised grain, and 3) preps the surface and opens wood pores to cause better stain absorption or finish adhesion.
Bob "Boardman" Borders

GaryFera
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Postby GaryFera » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:52 am

Bob, thank you again. My dream of skipping the sanding step seems to be an elusive one.

Is it possible that an old tin of paint thinner would lose its potency? Yesterday, I used Sunnyside denatured alcohol and Varsol paint thinner to clean legs from the table (in my original question above). These legs had been stripped and initially cleaned with the denature alcohol. The results surprised me because the Sunnyside picked up more additional impurities than the paint thinner did. Not sure why.

Gary


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