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removing tung oil finish?

Posted by moore4fam_al (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 27, 09 at 13:46

About 30 years ago, I purchased and finished an 'unpainted' oak table. At the time, I stained it an american oak color and finished it w/ about 20 coats of handrubbed tung oil...yes, really..about 20 coats. It was a Formby product, and I'm almost positive it was a 'tung oil finish'..not pure tung oil, so it was likely a varnish. It is my dining room table that is only used infrequently and still has good water repellant quality. Now I want a darker finish..and I'm wondering how hard it would be to remove this finish? a good sanding? messy strippers? Ain't gonna happen? I can afford a new table if I have too..but still like the style and functionally of this one... I don't want to ruin it, and would prefer to pass it on to relatives if this is gonna be really difficult...any advice?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: removing tung oil finish?

Formby's Tung Oil Finish is a thinned (wiping) varnish. No tung oil. You can use a "stripper" to get it off. Sanding is not a good strategy -- it is terribly inefficient and will remove the finish unevenly, causing innumerable problems trying to get new color and finish on it.

Pick out a good methylene chloride stripper (the heaviest can will have the highest percentage of MC). Use plenty of ventilation, keep things warm, and let the stripper have time to do its job.

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