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Getting back to the natural wood !

 
pollinator
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Location: Anjou ,France
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Furniture for Free but.......

Our Landlord has offered us a piece of furniture from the chateau next door
And it's very old at least pre WW11 maybe WW1 , it's huge at 2.55m that's 8ft in old money it's Oak .The joints appear to be Dovetail  It consists of a pair of cupboards a pair of drawers and shelves with glass doors above . And it's free!
Unfortunately it's covered in a black lacquer type stuff and looks like something from the Adams family house ,if it was wood coloured it would be great . So how do I best remove the black stuff without having to use toxic gick  any ideas out there ?

David
 
gardener
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One method that works on some lacquers is a heat gun -- sort of like an electric hairdryer only hotter. Usually followed by a lot of scraping and sanding.

I imagine that a mix of sandblasting and power or hand sanding might also work, depending on how intricate your piece is. But it's a LOT of work.

The reason chemical solutions exist is that they are labor-saving in some situations. If you don't want the chemicals, the usual substitute is insane amounts of "elbow grease".
 
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If it truly is old lacquer, it is different than modern lacquer. Old finishes usually come off easy with the right method, and horrible with any other--but the right method is IT DEPENDS.

Heatgun or steam and a putty knife usually work. Sometimes a little vinegar or citrus oil helps. Be careful with steam to not damage the wood. Heat can melt glue and crack endgrain, too, but is more forgiving than steam.

You can still off-gas gick just from adding heat, so take precautions just like you were using toxic remover.
 
David Livingston
pollinator
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I dont mind the work its a way of getting some great wooden furniture for "free".
I will try with a heat gun and see how I get on. I will soon see if its the lacquer that comes off easy . Being rural France I expect it to be the old shellac Type . If this goes well I could see more furniture coming my way

David
 
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