Thanks ! By cold I meant room temp - about 4 tablespoons in a quart of water - hadnt done a darn thing after 2 hours. It was alkyd/enamel type
paint , not milk paint which is I think natural/organic and easily affecyed by the lye ( like human skin
I read all over the net that you have to heat it almost to boiling in a large container and sink the entire piece of furniture in it. I am going to try to find or make a tank.
I could make money at that.
Here are some scraps of info from about 4 sources.
Well before todays sea of commercial chemical- and solvent-based paint removers flooded the market, folks set on stripping mixed up their own. This caustic-type stripper is concocted to taste from common ingredients that cost next-to-nothing.
1lb household lye (caustic soda)
2 or more boxes grocery corn starch
In a non-metallic container, such as a joint-compound bucket, gradually dissolve lye in 2 gallons of warm water. Start with a medium-strength solution Ã‘ say 2oz. lye per gallon of water. Test for effectiveness, then increase concentration if desired. Make a pasty stripper by mixing corn starch and water in another bucket. When the water is milky, slowly blend it into the lye solution.
Apply with a tampico-bristle (whitewash) brush; the stripper is particularly practical for removing paint on masonry. However, like all caustic strippers, this mix is highly basic and will darken some hardwoods. Test first in an inconspicuous area and rinse the surface thoroughly before repainting. Most important, work carefully while mixing and applying the stripper. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves, making sure to rinse skin immediately if it comes in contact with stripper.
Use vinegar to neutralise the lye and then water rinse.
muriatic acid is mentioned elsewhere as a neutraliser for caustic soda which is rinsed off afterwards
A solution of sodium hydroxide in water was traditionally used as the most common paint stripper on wooden objects. Its use has become less common, because it can damage the wood surface, raising the grain and staining the colour
mix with water About a table spoon lye per cup water. Wear some good chemical gloves and a face sheild and keep a jug of vinegar around to neutralize spills. If you want to remove paint it will do the trick as well and cheaper than anything else and doesn't have the vapor of the Easy Off.