"Knowing how to restore the
wood in your home or in a building, whether the structure is historic
or not, can be a difficult process but well worth the effort when
it results in the warm, rich beauty of natural wood. In some cases
you may have to strip the wood that is to be restored. Stripping
removes the layers of paint and varnish that may be hiding the original,
high-quality wood. The only time you do not need to strip is when
the area under consideration is new and has not yet been finished.
There are two stripping methods:
Mechanical stripping involves the use of tools and materials and
includes such procedures as electric sanding, hand scraping, hand
sanding and the use of a hot-air gun. Chemical stripping involves
the use of products that cause a chemical reaction that softens
the finish, which can then be removed."
"The ins and outs of wood restorationt?"
by Alice Cotton
(the article goes on to explain
the various mechanical and chemical stripping methods available
for stripping wood.)