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Heat Gun - Am I doing it right?!

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honeymustardpasta

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Afternoon all,

I'm a complete novice with a chest of drawers painted in an 'interesting' choice of colours. I also own a heat gun.

I got to work on the drawers this morning, but it wasn't really what I was expecting. After taking off the bulk of the paint, the wood seems to be stained in that colour. I was just wondering if anyone could let me know if this to be expected? I'm thinking this is as good as it gets and I'd need to sand the stain away?

Many thanks in advance for your tips and advice.

PS - I also burnt the timber!
 

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ED65

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Yes the wood is actually stained by the paint. It's not anything you did wrong, you get this often with water-bourne paints, and modern paints generally are much worse for this than paints of old.

You can sand back to bare wood but it's not the best way to remove a lot of material, and in some areas the staining may be much deeper than elsewhere. If you don't have access to power sanders this'll take a lot longer than you'll expect!

Fairly common to scorch the wood slightly, best avoided if poss but if not too bad (and it looks fairly minor, seen lots worse!) it can be sanded out without leaving a trace.

I presume you're wanting to go back to natural wood on this? If you're painting you don't need to worry, just sand a bit to smooth off and you're ready for paint; although you might want to prime first it's not essential.
 

AndyT

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Heat guns work best on old-style oil paint. If your drawers were painted with something more modern and water based, your result might well be as good as you will get it. If you want to paint it again, probably not a problem. Otherwise you will need to chemically strip (another area of difficulty, as the most effective strippers were based on chemicals not now readily available) or mechanically strip. By that I mean planing, scraping or sanding. All of those will remove some wood as well as the colour, but on an ordinary cheap softwood piece I don't expect that's much of an issue.
 

honeymustardpasta

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Cheers guys, I was hoping you were going to tell me that! Yup, the plan is to repaint at the moment, unless some other ideas come to mind.
 

ED65

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You've certainly done a good enough job if you're intending to paint again. Bit late now but possibly of use in a future makeover: you could have just sanded the existing paint and painted straight over!

With a repaint where you haven't gone back to bare wood, if there's any concern about the new paint bonding properly to the old even after the sanding (which provides grip) you can use shellac or a shellac-based primer (e.g. BIN) first. I presume the price differential is smaller there than here but shellac will still be found to work out tons cheaper than BIN.

The general principle is that shellac can go on anything and anything can go on shellac, although if there's any wax polish on the surface it's best to clean as much of that off as you can using white spirit, or turps if you prefer the smell.
 
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