"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."

Except from
"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.)

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