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homemade varnish remover

Good evening,
My neighbor, an old gentlemen, gave me a recipe for homemade varnish remover. It's consists of red seal dye and linit starch. Anyone ever deal with this? I have an older home with all natural wood trim and this sounds cheaper than paint stripper. Thanks for any tips.

Re: homemade varnish remover

Lye + starch (corn starch, usually) is a home made stripper for paint, etc., But I never heard of dye.
Lye is of course extremely caustic, and burns skin on contact, and requires a lot of neutralizing before you can repaint. It also burns the wood fibers, and causes the wood to change color. Pine turns greenish, oak turns dark brown, and the color is permanent.
You mix the starch in to thicken it into a more pasty consistency, otherwise it is thin as water. The heat from the exothermic reaction of lye + water cooks/thickens the starch. I have only used this recipe once, in an attempt to remove grease stains from stone, with limited success.
HTH, but I advise against it in the strongest terms.

Re: homemade varnish remover

Guess I read his recipe wrong, lye not dye. Anyway thank you very much for the info. I won't be trying this.

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