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Removing varnish from banisters & spindles

Postby sjones » Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:18 am

I would really like to strip the dark varnish from my banister & spindles & wonder if there is an easy way to do it?! Is it a case of using a stripping product or can I sand it. I know its going to take a bit of time & patience & just wonder if anyone out there has any tips. My house is about 20 years old so I'm hoping the wood will be of a reasonable quality.
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Gorilla Glue heavy duty grab adhesive

Postby chris_on_tour2002 » Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:16 pm

nope, no easy way. if you find one, let me know.

sanding is probably the best option. chemical stripping is messy, smelly and awful. and it doesn't work on many types of varnish anyway.
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Postby pbp » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:19 pm

Home Strip paint and varnish remover which is on the projects page under striping paint is the best thing for this job. It will remove the old varnish no problem at all and with no fumes and skin burns it is a treat to work with.

Sanding turned newel posts and spindles will result in light and dark colours in the wood as you will not be able to sand evenly.

You can paint this stuff on and leave it an hour (varnish ocmes off really quickly) AND USING A BOWL OF HOT SOAPY WATER AND A STAINLESS STEEL SOCURING BALLL wrap the scouring ball around the spindles and take the varnish straight off..

I have used Home Strip many times and it is such a wonderful product to wotk with unlike the solvent type products that can kill you....
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Postby TheDoctor5 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:52 am

Last year 64% of the questions asked in our forum were answered within our DIY project pages at The project pages are now separated alphabetically and your answers are accompanied by diagrams and the ability to see, and buy, the tools and/or required to complete your project. Use our search box to look for your answer and save a great deal of time and money!
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Postby diydoctor6 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:28 pm

We agree that Home Strip is the stuff to use. You can get it here: ... litre.html

It is a really boring job, so we have got some great tips to make stripping paint a little easier:

Some recommend using a heat gun, but this comes with it's issues too, so we tend to stick with Home Strip, steel wool and elbow grease. If you want more information on using a heat gun to strip paint you can find out more here: ... at_gun.htm
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