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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 7:04 am 
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Hi Guys,

I made an attempt to stain our oak surround using Ronseal quick drying woodstain in ebony. I had used this stain on the wood panelling on the staircase which looks fantastic and thought I could use it again to darken the surround. The surround is currently very warm in tone, and we wanted to take it to near black but still pick out the beautiful wood grain. Unfortunately like the daft arse I am, I rushed in and didn't think through the effect that adding this stain over a previous varnish. I had sanded the whole surround to provide a key but the previous varnish is still intact. I had intended it to be an attractive dark wash over the top but that was not the effect I got, it went very opaque and as it was quick drying, I ended up with tide lines where the stain had dried too quick and I had overlapped it. It was also far too opaque.
I am wondering what would be the best way to approach this, I am thinking some kind of stripper and strip both the new stain and the old yellowed varnish? The Ronseal woodstain is a water based one. I am not sure of the best approach, and if stripping this is the way to go, what would be an attractive way to darken the wood but still retain the wood grain of the oak?
Many thanks in advance,

Andy

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 9:08 am 
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Can you please provide a description of your issue.


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 9:32 am 
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I can only say that the Ronseal product you used is a has a colour suspended in the varnish. I am not sure how successful you could be using a http://www.peelaway.co.uk to get it off but the fact it is laying on a previous varnish could help it.

Wait and see if our pro decs have another solution.


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 8:40 pm 
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Thanks for your reply. Hopefully you're right that it may peel away from the previous layer of varnish if not taking away every layer of varnish in one go.. I'll look into that one., any more products/techniques anyone could recommend would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 10:11 pm 
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Some random thoughts that might help you (or not).

Use chemicals to do the stripping. My experience is of the old nitromors stuff, people do not rate it as much now. If peelaway indeed peels the varnish away fine ... if not you may need a scraper like this https://www.toolstation.com/shop/Painti ... ook/p58907 (there is also a useful just triangular shape of the same thing). I also quite like this one https://www.toolstation.com/shop/Painti ... ool/p44507 which is heavy at the handle end (like a small hammer), and you can use to hit your head every time you gouge the wood. :mrgreen:
The above tools/ideas are to be used in combination with chemical strippers.

Then you will have the varnish in the more ornamental bits where a scraper is no good (but the point bits of the "hooks" I pointed out may be useful. If it peels fine, if not you will need a stripper (down Tom) and woodworking wire/steel wool (a medium to fine grade, eg. 0) see: http://www.thefurnitureconnoisseur.com/ ... finishing/. You finish with sanding as necessary but if you have to sand go with the grain of the wood. You could use finer steel wool instead of sand paper (00 or 0000) but as the wood will be obliterated by your choice of coating you might as well save the elbow grease.

Finally, varnish. If you must make it as dark as you want (I would rather drown myself in the lager crap I am having than do that) you have two things to consider.
a. If you use wire wool there will be bits left behind that will simply rust with a water based varnish.
b. As Dewalt said, a varnish with colour suspends the colour above the wood, so it kind of obliterates the grain. A water based varnish obliterates more than a solvent based varnish. Given you are trying to paint the poor thing black with some grain showing through a solvent based varnish (drying in 16+ hours would be a better choice). Remember, the more coats the darker and more obliterated the result. You don't have to worry about solvent based materials yellowing over time. Yours would not yellow.
c. Protect the hearth as much as is possible ... chemicals can work wonders on it.
d. If you opt for wire wool have rubber gloves as you will have to use it with the chemicals, and have spare pairs as your fingers will go through.
e. In an ideal world, if it was all down to bare wood you could use dyes to achieve the colour you wanted and then clear varnish as a top coat. Dye is not an option whilst the ornamental bits or the grain are not free of any previous varnish.

Am I too detailed? :mrgreen: I have been where you are going with a very simple surround (home made) that I wanted to bring back to natural colour. And mine was a "simple" surround. I ficked the hearth (did not really mind), removed the surround and did it all over again and got a new fireplace installed (not by me) and I refitted the surround. Thoroughly enjoyable but painful on my elbows. Polishing wood with steel wool is not fun :huray:

I hope it helps a little. Just keep the decorator's multi tool gadget with the heavy end handy at all times


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 8:26 pm 
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Hi, thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed reply. I take your advice and have it from another source too that I will probably need to use chemical strippers for the varnish underneath and put in the elbow grease with hand tools such as the ones you've recommended and a dremel multitool.. Fun times!
Any other suggestions before I attack this? Cheers guys


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 8:33 pm 
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Hand tools. Dremel when things are clean and dry and near the end. Any wood you remove you cannot put back.

And if you do all this work, do you really want to make it ebony or whatever it is you wanted? By all means, if that is what you want do it and try to enjoy it 'cause it is painful work. :thumbright:


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