brass brush residue - stripping paint

pasigalAugust 5, 2007


I'm down to the nitty gritty in stripping my old maple woodwork. All that's left is a few bits of paint/shellac lodged in cracks and corners. As a test today (on a piece of scrap) I used a brass brush and methyl chloride stripper, but the brush appeared to leave a dark, almost black residue (or maybe it changed the color of the wood). However, the brush worked great on getting the paint/shellac off.

So the brass brush appears to be a no go. I don't want to use steel wool (hate getting fibers lodged everywhere). Maybe a really stiff nylon brush might work? ANy other ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.

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The brush was likely not actually brass.
Methylene Chloride has no effect on brass.
Maybe a brass pated steel brush??
Try a magnet and see it is sticks.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 7:23PM
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Definitely brass...not magnetized. I don't think it's the stripper that's causing the residue, rather a reaction involving the wood/brass interface. (Maple seems to be prone to that sort of thing). Time to get out the dental picks!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 1:25PM
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Brass is copper and zinc. Neither of these will stain wood.
Iron will react with tannic acid in the wood to create a black stain (very common in oak, but almost all woods have some tannic acid in them).
Maybe there was something on the brush?
Oil from manufacture often remains and needs to be cleaned off before you use the brush on anything critical.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 7:20PM
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I'll try cleaning the brush, which I still believe is brass...although the reaction you describe appears to be the one I'm experiencing. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 10:18PM
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