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Identifying and removing old wood stain

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willow5

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Hi -

I am new to this forum but have read lost of useful posts so thought I would post something myself :)

I wonder if anyone can identify the type of finishing in the attached photo's and help me identify a suitable remover ? I was previously under the impression that this might be old shellac or french polish so bought some cellulose thinners hoping to remove this. Whilst this has had some of the desired effect, the last remaining stains seem impossible to remove (see pics).

If it helps, this was on a 1950's staircase after I removed a few layers of paint.

Any advice would be appreciated

Thank you
 

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Chrispy

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Hi and welcome,

I'm trying to see just what it is that you are left with, so heres my guess, either it's the lead primer from the paint finish (in which case i hope you've been wearing your mask,) this may come off with a paint stripper, or it could be a stain if it was polished in which case you would probaberly need to use a bleach of some type.
 

Harbo

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Shellac / French Polish was made with Meths not Cellulose thinners.
If your talking about the white stains it looks like old paint - paint stripper/sanding or painting it again?

Rod
 

willow5

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Thanks all -

@Harbo, I also tried removing with Meths but no joy and it's the brown stuff I'm trying to remove not the white stuff :D

@Chrispy, I am hoping it's not the former and that it will come off with bleach but I have not tried this yet - what do you recommend ?

Thank you
 

Chrispy

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The more I look at this the more I think it's primer, (it used to be pink) there might be knotting applied over the knots which would be shelac, but the stuff in the corners looks like paint to me.
Why not try some paint stripper and see what that does?
 

willow5

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Thanks Chrispy, will try but I know that the heat gun I used to take off the paint just made this stuff very sticky so I am unsure whether paint stripper will work.
 

marcus

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Shellac / French Polish was made with Meths not Cellulose thinners.
although cellulose thinners (ie acetone, basically) will remove it faster than meths will....
 

willow5

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Hi

@Chrispy, I tried bleach yesterday and that seemed to have a limited effect. The best results are still with cellulose thinners - haven't yet tried the paint remover but will try and report back soon.

Thanks
 

SeanJ

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excuse me butting in - but i agree with the paint stripper suggestions, iv'e done many staircase strip and repolishes and if the heatgun is making something sticky then i'd move onto stripper and course wire wool. It looks like a dried in/baked sort of primer/stain residue. Bleaching could be tricky unless your using tiny brushes or going whoesale at it. Careful if you have to buy stripper as it's gone through the roof price wise in the big stores as they phase out the old methylene chloride ones (unless you go to waterbased). Morrells still keep it real at around £20 for 5 litres of the paramose though :)
 

willow5

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@SeanJ

Thanks for your advice. I will use paint stripper and will take heed of your advice for where to buy this :)

In terms of course wire wool, please can you point me in the right direction of where to buy this from as the only wire wool I know of is the type for rubbing copper pipe down but I am guessing that this is not the right type ? Is there a certain type of wool for wood ?

Thanks
 

marcus

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Is there a certain type of wool for wood
Nope, same stuff. Just common or garden wire wool. Grade 0 usually OK.
 

willow5

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Hi -

OK so I've moved on a bit since I posted this but still seem to be left with what appears to be adhesive. It seems to be water based as none of the chemical strippers I have tried appear to do anything. So I attach photos of the colour of the water for some clues and also the residue I am left with after the wood has dried (look at the wood grain for the residue). I have tried everything you can think of from White Spirit to Meths to Turps but nothing seems to remove it.

The final photo is what is left on the floor when I use a scraper to scrape the wood.

Any help would be gratefully appreciated as I am tearing out my hair here !

https://www.dropbox.com/s/faq6czogunhsq ... 2.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/iledypw2lqj68 ... 1.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/e5sms9azndntt ... 0.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zmw5tvx1k2cqj ... 6.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/nhvtdrog2mryw ... 0.jpg?dl=0

Many Thanks
Chris
 

mrpercysnodgrass

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Hi Chris, It looks to me as though you are getting there. SeanJ's advise is good, get 'proper' stripper from Morrells and you should be using No 3 wire wool which you can get from Morrells as well. Be generous with the stripper, puddle it on and leave for at least five minutes before giving it a good scrub with the wire wool. Cut off a 12" length of wire wool ( use scissors to cut the wire wool, do not try and tear it unless you don't mind loosing a finger! ) and fold in on it's self until you have a tight bundle that fits well in your hand. Wear marigolds, the strong black ones if you can get them, and scrub hard until the surface is dry, repeat with stripper if needed. If you are lucky you may be able to go straight to finishing after this, if not you will have to sand any remaining residue, start with 100 grit and finish with 150 grit. There should be no need to go finer than 150 for a staircase.
 
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