The expression”clear coat” frequently refers to a clean, colorless polyurethane sealant used to protect floors and furniture. However, the term also includes any sealant, with or without color, that preserves the presence of the wood grain when providing a protective coating. Additional clear coats include varnish, oils and sealants. While any of these apparent coatings may be removed and reapplied, the benefit of removing the clear coat without removing the underlying blot will depend on the method and the status of the furniture or floor.
Oils or Waxes
Mineral spirits or turpentine will remove an oil coat from wood. Oils and waxes are most commonly used on unstained or unpainted wood to prevent drying, provide a moisture resistant barrier and make a glossy shine. However, they may be applied over a blot. If the wood has been stained, be careful when implementing the solvent as it may draw the stain out of the wood. Scrub the surface of the wood with a solvent and medium-grade steel wool. Reapply the oil or wax based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
Sanding Furniture to Eliminate a Clear Coat
In case the polyurethane clear coat is becoming yellowed or unsure, use sand paper or a tiny handheld sander to strip the coat. Don’t use a massive power sander, because it will remove the clear coat and a layer of wood. Also, a power sander, if used badly or by the inexperienced, will leave grooves in the wood. Sand with the grain of the wood and work with a light pressure. Vacuum the surface with the bristle attachment of a shop-vac to eliminate all of the dust and then use a tack cloth to grab anything that the vacuum cleaner overlooked. Reapply the coat based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
Screening Flooring to Strip a Clear Coat
If your flooring have become dull and scuffed, utilize a procedure called screening to eliminate the clear coat. Screening uses a floor buffer and progressively finer grades of abrasive disks, beginning at 60-grit and finish at 120-grit. This system produces a significant amount of dust and you must hand sand the corners. You can use a detail sander for the corners, but you should be careful to mix with the surrounding region. You can only screen floors which are unwaxed. For waxed flooring, you will need to completely strip the ground, blot included, with a drum sander which will also remove a fine layer of wood.
Using Chemical Solvents
Most hardware stores offer an assortment of chemical solvents developed to strip memory, paint and varnish. These solvents will not pull the stain out of wood, but they may lighten or discolor it. Chemical solvents soften the apparent coat, allowing it to be washed or shut off. When using chemical solvents, always work in a well ventilated place. Be skeptical of solvents that wash off with warm water, because the wood will soak up the water, preventing it from accepting a brand new clear coat.
Always vacuum and wash the surface off with tack cloth before applying a fresh clear coat. Any dust particles will become trapped in the crystal clear coat, marring the end and possibly preventing the clear coat from sticking to the surface. If you previously employed an oil-based clear coat, only utilize an oil-based clear coat to the new end. The same goes for water-based. When the clear coat has been scraped to bare wood, you must strip all the furniture or flooring to bare wood prior to reapplying any stain or clear coat.