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Stripping old finish

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  • Stripping old finish

    I was just wondering if anybody knows what chemicals are used to strip old finish off of pipes before a new finish can be applied, and if there are different kinds of finish to consider before picking a remover.

  • #2
    Is this the flaking lacquer finish that a number of pipe makers used to use? There are safe lacquer thinners (NOT paint thinners) that work well. That said, we have many experts on this site who will have specific product recommendations that you can trust.


    • #3
      Like Michael, I'll defer to others for the correct solvents, but whichever you pick, do a test in an inconspicuous area before slathering your pipes.

      Andrew T. Lenz, Jr. BDF Moderator - Reference for Bagpipers


      • #4
        I’ve done several sets of abw pipes....plain ol’ paint stripper works fine...apply with a brush...allow it to work...scrub away ,..e.g. out of combing..with a toothbrush. Wipe the wood down with mineral spirits before refinishing. I use gloss spar varnish..3 coats using a quality sable brush...~1/2” width. Initial coat thinned ~50% as a ‘primer’ coat thinned coat straight from the can. I keep the can in a pot of heated water to keep the varnish toasty. Between coats I use fine steel wool to break the gloss before the next coat. Again,..brush combing well with a toothbrush. Important to try to do this in a low Rh environment...~40%. Allow 2 days drying between coats.
        The pipes I’ve done came away with a very durable glossy finish that survived many many years of usual wear.