Return to the Old House Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
pplease recommend stripping product for floors?

Posted by girlndocs (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 4, 10 at 13:23

In the next month we will be refinishing the original pine or fir floors in our house. A lot of it is worn completely bare (we will sand lightly) and around the edges it has old paint and some kind of old wood finish.

I was looking at Soy-Gel (from the Real Milk Paint Co) because it's not supposed to have any fumes and we could strip the floor bit by bit *before* we pack the kids off to Nana's for the weekend, move out all the furniture, sand and shellac. But that stuff is expensive. I was wondering if there's a less expensive product I can get somewhere like Lowes or Home Depot that will allow us to remove the old finish without noxious fumes -- we don't have the option of closing off our main room for all the time that we're using the stripping product. (We can put fans in the windows for ventilation, though.)

Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: pplease recommend stripping product for floors?

I did a bedroom floor, washed five times with Dirtex and finished with Polycrilic, looks real sharp. Never emptied the room, just moved stuff back and forth. Didn't have room to move stuff to anyway.


 o
RE: pplease recommend stripping product for floors?

I would go ahead and try the SoyGel. I know of no other product like it. If you haven't tested it on your particular floor, you won't know if it will work for you. And give it plenty of time to work. You can cover it up with plastic wrap and set cardboard on top to allow extended working in room that is occupied.

Part of the expense of SG may be the shipping. I buy it at a local janitorial supply house, where it is cheaper.

The alternative stripping products at the big boxes are often very foul to work with, even with good ventilation and none could be lived with while in "on the job".

There may be a "non-toxic", citrus-based stripper. Keep in mind that nothing that can remove paint is truly benign.

Remember, in order to not make yourselves nuts: figure it will cost twice as much and take at least twice as much effort and time as you planned. If it works out better then you'll have the (very rare, so be sure to savour it!) experience of getting what you want done, quicker and with $$ left in your pocket. Plus you'll be spared the enormous stress of struggling vainly to meet a self-imposed deadline.


 o
RE: pplease recommend stripping product for floors?

Hi,
I have chemically stripped many square feet of flooring during my preservation carpentry career. The first one was a 32x36 ballroom floor. It literally could not be sanded because the whole thing was pitch pine, and would clog the abrasive on contact, so we stripped it with methylene-chloride stripper.
In my own house I have stripped one room (M Br.) with Kutzit stripper. If you wear chemical gloves and a VOC respirator there are no physical effects, except to your knees.
I have not yet tried Soy Gel, but I wanted to bring up one potential disadvantage to some of the safer paste type strippers. I have used citrus strippers and notice that they never totally evaporate on their own as do the liquid M/C (kutzit) strippers. This could be a real headache if there are gaps in your floor boards (and what old house doesn't have gaps?). I see the scenario of having to manually clear the goop out of hundreds of feet of floor seams before being able to apply the finish.
If I'm wrong about soy gel (and cripes, I really owe it to myself to try the product, having heard good things about it here at GW), let me know the error of my ways!
Casey


 o
RE: pplease recommend stripping product for floors?

That disadvantage (not evaporating) is exactly the advantage of EZ Way. It smells, so I wouldn't recommend it for indoor use unless very well ventilated and with time to clear, but it leaves no residue and does not require water or solvent clean-up - it basically is a solvent.

In Canada we have something called Organic Stripper that may be similar to your soygel. I tried it recently and it really has low/no odour and does work, but cleaning up the residue at the end is a pain.

Just saw the old thread pulled up about Paint Shaver. There's a cool idea that might work on a floor.

KarinL


 o
RE: pplease recommend stripping product for floors?

Well, I did get the Soy Gel, and I did a small patch with it earlier today. It went well and about 2 hours of time on the floor under a plastic bag was enough for me to easily scrape up the layer of varnish that was there. I scrubbed the area twice with water and there's no goopiness or tackiness left.

I'm not sure this gallon I ordered is going to be enough to do all that I need, though, and I shy away from spending another $80 on the stuff. The 3M Safest Strip is a third of the cost at Ace so if I run out I'm going to try some of that. I wish I'd tried it first in case it does work as well.


 o
RE: pplease recommend stripping product for floors?

If you are going to need to sand anyway, just sand the surface clean.

A flooring drum sander will make short work of paint, just like the old finish on the floor.


 o
RE: pplease recommend stripping product for floors?

No, we're not going to sand the floor clean. I don't want it to look like a new floor, and I don't know how much sanding it can take without being damaged. We're going to very lightly sand to remove any raised grain and make sure it's silky smooth but that's it.


 o
RE: pplease recommend stripping product for floors?

3M isn't as good as my Organic Stripper product. YMMV wrt Soygel.
But if all you're stripping is varnish, should be OK. Maybe do the areas that have paint with Soygel to be on the safe side.

KarinL


 o
RE: pplease recommend stripping product for floors?

recomendation: user Waterlox over Shellac.


 o
RE: pplease recommend stripping product for floors?

"I don't want it to look like a new floor, and I don't know how much sanding it can take without being damaged. We're going to very lightly sand to remove any raised grain and make sure it's silky smooth but that's it."

By the time you remove the grain raised by the 'safe' strippers you will end up sanding the whole floor.

The floors were designed to be periodically sanded to renew the surface.
That is why the tongues and grooves are not in the middle of the edge of the flooring, but paced more towards the bottom.


 o
RE: pplease recommend stripping product for floors?

By the time you remove the grain raised by the 'safe' strippers you will end up sanding the whole floor.

Having used the Soy Gel on about a quarter of the floor now, I disagree that it raises the grain especially. I can't feel a difference between the rest of the bare wood on the floors and the stripped sections. All of it will receive a gentle hand sanding (it's not a very big floor and we have strong knees and backs).

I like the texture it has acquired with age, and I have no idea how many times or how deep it may have been sanded before we came to live here.


 o
RE: pplease recommend stripping product for floors?

"I disagree that it raises the grain"

If it is water based and water clean up it raises the grain.

There is no way around that problem.

Wood absorbs water.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Old House Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here