Monday, 19 May 2014


I have been putting off the chemical stripping of the woodwork in the Hall for quite some time but eventually carried out a small trial at the weekend. That trial involved Nitromors and wire wool and I have to report that the results did nothing to encourage me. Basically it was very poor. I could see it taking weeks and still leaving a very indifferent finish.

30% had suggested that I use a home made stripper comprising wallpaper paste, caustic soda and water but I had resisted the temptation as I am stripping hardwoods and they are notorious for staining in the presence of water let alone sodium hydroxide …

… Well today, in desperation, I bit the bullet and performed a test patch in a concealed area. I didn't leave the alkaline gloop on for very long and, after a vigorous rub with wire wool, the solution was washed down with clean water and neutralised with a white vinegar solution.

The results are fantastic and I am sufficiently encourage to continue the task. I just need to be restrained and do a very small area at a time.

Incidentally, I did dip a fresh piece of oak in the home made stripper and within minutes it had changed to the colour of raw umber. This  is definitely a process to be executed with care.

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