Can't get this off! Need advice, please.

ms_minnamouseJanuary 21, 2011

I have an aquarium stand that I'm working on. It's particle board, I think with a baked on coating of enamel. The enamel is chipped and ugly and it's black. I want it off. I want to get down to the wood and I'm having a really hard time getting the enamel off!

I tried a stripping compound but it doesn't cut through the enamel. So I have three different sanders. I have one for a car, it's round and will probably make gashes in the wood and sand unevenly. I have a belt sander and it's powerful enough but it sands unevenly, makes gashes in the wood and the belt repeatedly slips off. Then I have a random orbital sander and even with 40 grit paper (the coarsest I can find), it's taking FOREVER to get the stupid enamel off. It'll take all year with this sander!

I need ideas please!

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By the way, the stripping compound I used was Stripeaze. I also tried acetone and paint thinner. None made a dent.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 2:25PM
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Strypeeze Original or Strypeeze Biodegradable (both are made by Savogran)?

The original is very strong and uses Methylene Chloride.
They also have a product called SuperStrip that is better on some newer finish types (like polyurethane).

There are a number of epoxy and urethane finishes that are VERY difficult to remove.

Applying a new layer of paint might be easier.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 3:51PM
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Why would you want to achieve bare particle board? Are you planning on clear coating the particle board? I have actually seen some new cabinets with clear coated MDF, It's an industrial look. Is that what you're after?

You probably need to leave the painted enamel finish, fill in the chipped places with putty, primer those spots, and then paint the whole piece with another type of enamel paint. The water based enamels of today can be applied with rollers and brushes, sanded between coats, and achieve a very professional looking result.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 6:19PM
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I'll bet that 'enamel' is actually a laminate.

And, the best option in that case is to do what aidan said.

Particle board is not structured to stand much use with just paint. That is one reason they laminate it.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 10:54PM
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It could actually be melamine, which is a wonderfully tough resin applied to the surface of particle board. It can be sanded off with much effort. However, the question still is...why? It might be easier to construct a replacement from scratch.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 2:47PM
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