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Posts Tagged ‘steelwool’

OK, so it’s another story about paint stripping. If you can’t be bothered reading it, at least enjoy the slideshow at the end.


red stool in original conditionI seem to have picked the simplest job ever for demonstrating how to strip paint off furniture. This old stool had just 1 coat of red paint. That’s it. Not even an undercoat.

I bought it from Bay Country Antiques in Waipawa, New Zealand (and got it home in my suitcase). The wood is probably rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum), according to the guy in the shop. Don’t ask me, I only know kauri.
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About 20 years ago I did an 8-part French polishing course. The instructor was a real craftsman, and he covered more ground than just ‘Applying Shellac for Dummies’. Most of the techniques I use for stripping and finishing furniture are ones I learned from him. This is what he taught me about applying beeswax. 


Beeswax gives a more sympathetic, though slightly duller finish than French polishing – and it makes the surface a bit more waterproof.

beeswax, turps, steelwool and old towellingIt’s best to make up your own beeswax to ensure its purity. Avoid any commercial products that aren’t pure (for example, ones that have paraffin added to them).

What you need:

  • a lump of beeswax
  • pure turpentine (or mineral turps will do)
  • a container to put the wax in
  • fine steelwool (000 grade)
  • old cotton towelling (not flat-weave cloth) cut up into rags

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