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Woodstain and Varnish Preparation

Can water-borne stains and paints be removed using a hot-air stripper?

Yes, however, this is not an easy task. The preferred method would be to use a chemical stripper to soften the finish, remove with a metal scraper, followed by thorough sanding.

N.B. Naked flames (blow torch/lamp) are not recommended if a woodstain is to be used, as the timber surface can become charred. Furthermore, they can be a serious fire risk, and their use should be avoided.

Do I need to use a preservative before I stain my wood?

Many hardwoods such as Oak, Teak and Iroko, are naturally durable and have their own natural resistance to decay and rot.

Most softwoods and "cheaper" hardwoods are not durable and must be treated with a preservative if they are to be used outside.

Some of these timbers are treated in the factory to stop them rotting, but if this has not been done, Cuprinol Clear Wood Preserver or Cuprinol 5 Star Treatment are ideal for use as superficial preservative pre-treatments.

How do I remove lead paint?

Some old paint coatings may contain lead which is poisonous to humans and before removing or preparing existing paint coatings it is important to determine whether the paint concerned contains lead.

Remove all such coating materials in accordance with the appropriate legislation. A guide on "How to remove old lead paint safely" is available via the British Coatings Federation Ltd. (Tel. 01372-360660).

The phenomenon of resin exudation is both natural and highly unpredictable, being dependent both on timber species and timber grade/quality.

The traditional answer was to apply Shellac Knotting and 'seal' in the resin. However, many years of research and on site experience have shown that this method is not completely effective, even with paints, with which it is traditionally used. Moisture vapour permeable (sometimes referred to as microporous) woodstains such as the Sikkens Cetol range, attempt to deal with the problem in a different manner by allowing resin to filter through the finish without blistering or peeling, hence full protection is maintained.

In the short term, resin exudation tends to look unsightly, but within a year or so the excess resin becomes exhausted and exudation ceases. The initial resin should be cleaned from the timber using a lint free cloth dampened with cellulose thinners or methylated spirits.