Refinishing is a great way to add new life to a worn woodwork. There are many ways to remove polyurethane to prepare the surface for refinishing products. Chemical removers do a wonderful job of stripping the wood, however, they are highly toxic. Sanding is a safer method of removing old finishes, but it can be a very long and arduous process. Heat guns are a non-toxic, quick and effective way to remove polyurethane from woodwork. It requires a bit of finesse, however it is a job that can be tackled by the average handyman.
Things You'll Need
- Drop cloth
- Safety glasses
- Respirator mask
- Heat gun
- Paint scraper
Cover work area with a drop cloth.
Turn on heat gun and hold about three or four inches from the wood. Wave the heat gun back and forth across a small section.
Wait for polyurethane to start bubbling up off the wood surface.
Scrape bubbled polyurethane with a paint scraper.
If polyurethane remains stuck, reheat with the heat gun and repeat scraping process.
Continue with same technique until the entire piece is free from polyurethane.
Use a fine grit sand paper to remove any stubborn polyurethane. This will also help to prepare the surface for finishing.
Tips & Warnings
- Be very careful not to gouge the wood with the scraper.
- Avoid holding the heat gun too close or you could burn the wood. In addition, be sure to keep the heat gun in constant motion.
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