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Removing old paint, oil and wax layers from wood and other surfaces with Borma Wachs products

Those who set out to paint an object don't always start with clean wood. Statistics show that far more people are repainting various objects in the home such as doors, windows, furniture and floors. This explains why some of the most sought-after products are paint strippers. The subject of removing old layers of paint has also been touched on, because chemical stripping is not the only method that can be used. It is, however, the quickest, provided the right and effective paint stripper is chosen. Suitable, because not all paints are the same and there are few universal paint strippers that are aggressive enough but do not attack the wood. Effective, because it can save a lot of work.

We offer a range of Borma Wachs surface cleaning products, distributed by Loma Tech ( In addition to universal paint strippers, Borma Wachs also offers solutions for removing oils and waxes, materials that are difficult to clean and that create major problems if we intend to repaint those surfaces.

Overview of methods for removing old paint layers

Wood stripping is an essential process in the restoration and reconditioning of furniture and other wooden objects. Whether coated with paint, oil or wax, there are several methods to bring wood back to its natural appearance. These can be grouped into 4 broad categories:

Mechanical stripping - old paint is removed using abrasive materials. The methods used are sanding or blasting. Polishing uses sandpaper usually mounted on an electric sander. It is an effective method for paint removal, but with low yield on oil layers due to deep penetration into the wood. Sandblasting uses sand or other abrasive particles that hit the surface hard due to the pressure created by a machine. In the case of wood, the abrasive particles must be chosen carefully so as not to damage the soft surface. A very effective method is dry ice blasting.

Thermal pickling - The method uses hot air to soften the paint or wax, making them easier to remove with a squeegee. It's a simple method, but requires quite a lot of work and subsequent cleaning of the wood surface with solvents or sanding.

Pickling with natural solvents - is an environmentally friendly method using citrus-based solvents. The low aggressiveness of the solvents prolongs the process, requiring more interventions to achieve the desired result.

Chemical pickling - uses organic solvents, solvent mixtures or special substances that attack the surface and soften it so that it can later be removed with a scraper. It is an effective method, but requires extra care and protective equipment.

Materials used for varnish and paint removal

The paint strippers proposed by Borma Wachs have high softening power on old paint layers without attacking or changing the colour of the wood. The materials comply with current requirements for such products and do not contain methylene chloride.

Radical Abbeizer Extra is a gel paint stripper based on a specially formulated solvent mixture for wood. It has a strong action on shellac, varnish or nitrocellulose or acrylic based paint films, but does not attack the wood. The lack of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) in the composition means that the wood retains its natural colour after stripping. Radical Abbeizer Extra is strong, effective and easy to apply. Due to its gel consistency it can also be applied to vertical objects. It is easily applied with a brush, works in 15-30 minutes and the wet paint is removed with a scraper or steel wool. Finally, wipe the surface with a solvent-soaked cloth.

Gel wood stripper is a simple solution for restorers and heritage conservation professionals. It cleans wooden objects thoroughly without damaging the integrity of the wood or changing its natural colour. Its simple application does not restrict users, however, and it can also be used, with the necessary precautions, by those who want to restore old wooden objects in their own homes.

Universal Radikal Abbeizer is an all-purpose stripper for removing varnish or paint layers from surfaces such as wood, metal or masonry. It is also very effective because it contains no methylene chloride, is non-corrosive and does not change the characteristics of the underlying surface. It is liquid which allows it to penetrate well into old paint layers, attacking them deeply. It can also be applied with a spray gun which makes it easy to clean large surfaces. It works in 15-30 minutes and the soaked paint is removed with a squeegee or wire brush. The surface is then washed and allowed to dry thoroughly before applying the new finish.

Borma Wachs products for oil and wax cleaning

As popular as oil and wax are for finishing wood, removing them is unpleasant. Oil protects and brings out the natural design of the wood because it gets into the depth of the wood, but that's precisely why it's hard to remove. The wax, however, remains on the surface and prevents any other material from adhering. But to refresh an old surface, it must be removed. But it is not a simple operation because it is quite resistant to the action of ordinary solvents. Borma Wachs offers two materials that make the removal of oils and waxes much easier.

Solvoil Plus is a special thinner for oils, odourless and free of aromatic compounds. It can be used for both oil application and surface cleaning. When mixed with oil, it allows deep penetration of the wood and adjustment of drying time. For cleaning, the surface is wiped repeatedly with a cloth soaked in Solvoil. If the oil has penetrated deeply into the wood, wiping should be combined with sanding the surface.

Radikal Abwachser is a product formulated with odourless solvents specifically to remove wax and grease from wood. It can be used on painted products or directly on wood. It is effective without being aggressive, making it very suitable for restoration or heritage conservation work. It can also be used to clean old furniture from layers of grease and dirt accumulated over time. It is also very useful for removing waxes that have been deposited on furniture by maintenance products when we want to refresh it. Using Radikal Abwachser wax remover makes it possible to apply a new coat of varnish or paint.

It is easy to use as it is in spray form. Apply directly to the surface, then wipe off with a cloth. If the wax is very old, mixed with dirt and hard to remove, clean the surface with very fine steel wool (min.000, preferably 0000) so that it is not damaged.

Safety is very important when using chemical strippers

Paint stripping products are simple to use, making them accessible to non-professionals. However, it should not be forgotten that they are aggressive materials. They should therefore be used with extreme care and should not be left within the reach of children or around pets. Personal protective equipment such as gloves, special goggles, mask, gown must be used.

Application should be done in places where good ventilation can be ensured so as not to stay long in the solvent vapour environment.

The manufacturer's instructions for use must be followed exactly. Do not mix materials other than recommended or change the order of application. Do not mix with other pickling materials from other suppliers in order to increase efficiency. Uncontrolled reactions may occur.

Stripping wood coated with varnish, paint, oil or wax can be a laborious process, but with the right methods and products, the results can be impressive. Choosing the right technique depends on the type of coating and the condition of the wood, and following safety precautions is essential to ensure an efficient and safe process.

About the author

Mihaela Radu

Mihaela Radu is a chemical engineer but has a great passion for wood. She has been working in the field for more than 20 years, wood finishing being what defined her during this period. She gained experience working in a research institute, in her own company, as well as in a multinational. She wants to continuously share her experience with those who have the same passion - and more.

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