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dljensen
Refinishing interior windows

I've started removing the paint from my interior windows and have gotten to beautiful oak. I've been very happy with my heat gun, but it doesn't get everything off. I have nooks and crannies that still have paint in them. What would be a good product/method/tool to get in there?

As I said, the wood underneath is beautiful, but I'm unsure what to do when I get the paint off--should it be sanded and oiled?

Thank you,
Darin Jensen

ordjen
Re: Refinishing interior windows

DJensen,

Happy to give information to another DJensen (that's the Jen in Ordjen) :).

Oak is a very deeply grained wood. You are going to have to eventually use chemicals to get the pigment out of the grain. I doubt that the original finish was paint. It was probably varnished. Being so grainy, oak was not normally used if painted woodwork was intended. Birch or poplar would have been more common.

This works to your advantage, as the varnish prevented the later paint pigment from getting down into the grain. You have a better chance of getting your woodwork totally clean.

If the chemical stripper does not get the grain clean, your only recourse is heavy sanding. This is difficult to do with in place woodwork. The woodwork could be backed off for sanding, but it is difficult to do without causing some damage to the wood.

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