Remodeling and Home Design

Years ago, furniture and wood stripping was done using caustic soda (lye) in a method called dip-stripping. A piece would be completely submerged in a tank full of lye, which adversely affected a piece. This process dissolved glue, loosened joints, and delaminated wood veneer. While solvent-based strippers are used in the process today, completely submerging a piece may still expose it to possible damages. 

Here at West Interior Services, we prefer to use the flow-over method of wood stripping in lieu of dip-stripping. In our preferred method, a piece of furniture is placed in our custom-made 24 foot long stainless steel stripping tray. Then, a solvent stripper is delivered through a tube to a hollow brush and applied to the surface of the piece of furniture. The stripper is pumped through the tube using a low-pressure, air driven pump. This method allows the operator to apply the stripper in a controlled manner, gently sloughing off layers of wood finish. It is efficient and prevents exposing the piece of furniture to possible joint and veneer damage. 

Additionally, we use a closed-loop system for the solvent stripper used in the flow-over method. This recycling process allows us to clean and reuse the stripper. The used stripper goes through an internal filtration process. It filters out impurities, leaving clean stripper to be used again. Less waste is generated with this process. Any left over waste is disposed of using a PA Department of Environmental Protection approved commercial hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility.

At times, we do employ a hand stripping method. We elect to use hand stripping from time to time when working on an extremely fragile or delicate piece. This method requires solvent stripper in paste form. It is applied with a brush, left to sit for a short time, and removed with a gentle scraping motion.