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organic strippers

Posted by sierraeast (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 28, 09 at 10:17

Hi, Can anyone recommend a stripper that is no or low voc/fumes? Do the organic citrus stripperts work? Need to strip the finish off of kitchen cabinets. The house was built in the late eigties and am assuming polyurethane or varnish and the folks will be in the house while it's being done. I can visquine the area off and open a window and maybe use a fan, but one of them has respiratory problems. Thanks for any suggestions!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: organic strippers

I use an NMP stripper. I can't speak to the consumer version. Perhaps the article below will be of some help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Strippers


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RE: organic strippers

Thanks BMU, NMP sounds good. Time isn't a problem, no need to rush on the project, just looking for the safest, less fumigating way as possible. It just seems that on products in the past where they sounded too good to be true, that was always the case. There are some citrus type, no voc, no fume products that are sold at walmart that seem to fit the too good to be true philosophy. I was curious if anyone on board had ever gave them a go. NMP being pricier isn't a problem when it's something that works. Saves dinero and headaches down the road. Thanks again!


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By the way

I was referred to this product over at the paint forum, but it seems geared more for paint removal...

Here is a link that might be useful: smart stripper


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RE: organic strippers

Here's an article I find helpful. It doesn't cover citrus-based products, but it does help clarify which situations call for various types or stripper. Notice that it recommends the more noxious stuff (MC) for varnish and polyurethane. If the cabinets were finished with conversion varnish then you'll probably need some fairly heavy-duty stuff.

FWIW, I recently tried one of the milder-mannered, rinse-with-water strippers on an old coffee table my wife wanted refinished. The table had been sloppily painted with latex house paint. The stripper was almost odorless and it worked well enough on the latex, but barely touched the underlying varnish. I ended up plowing most of it off with a card scraper.

I assume you can remove the doors and drawer fronts to strip elsewhere, and just do the face-frames in place, no?

Here is a link that might be useful: Understanding Common Paint and Finish Strippers


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RE: organic strippers

Thanks Jon for the info! Yeah I can take the doors and drawers and strip them outside in the carport leaving the faceframes and sides, so that helps. The NMP sounds least effctive concerning fumes as they appearently evaporate and are slower acting, so hopefully i can pull the majority out a window with a fan. Another concern is temperature, might have to wait until things warm up a tad before going the open window route. If Im understanding it right, the warmer the better for most strippers to work? The folks might have to wait awhile for this project. Problem is...they want it done yesterday!


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RE: organic strippers

You need to balance the effectiveness of the stripper against how toxic it is.

If you have to use more coats or spend more time dealing with a 'safer' stripper, you could easily end up with a greater exposure than using something like methylene chloride.

You can also get a respirator and the correct cartridges if methylene chloride worries you.

It is the only really effective stripper for a number of catalyzed and fully synthetic finishes.


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RE: organic strippers

Thanks Brickeye! There is a possibility of them moving and putting the house up. The ideal situation would be to wait and when they are moved, jump in, respirator up, and take care of it with an empty house. They aren't certain as of yet but im going to let them know about all the advise that has been given and hopefully they will postpone for the time being. Thanks again for all the info and advise!


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