Homemade eco varnish remover

Image by Ted Major; Flickr.

Removing varnish is necessary when it becomes worn or when you want to refinish the wood. Many commercially available varnish removers contain harsh chemicals that are not only bad for the environment but also for human health.

Using common household products, you can create a safer varnish remover that is not only environmentally friendly but also kind to your wallet.

Rub the old varnish with steel wool and a few drops of water in a circular motion.

Wipe the surface with a clean cloth to remove steel wool residue.

Mix together the cold water and cornstarch in a large bucket until the solution is homogeneous.

Add hot water, ammonia and vinegar to the cornstarch mixture. The water should be close to boiling temperature. Stir all ingredients together to create the varnish remover.

  • Removing varnish is necessary when it becomes worn or when you want to refinish the wood.
  • Mix together the cold water and cornstarch in a large bucket until the solution is homogeneous.

Apply warm varnish remover to the target area with a paintbrush. Allow the varnish remover to sit for one minute; then wipe it away with a clean rag. If the varnish is still in place, reapply the varnish remover and allow it to sit for up to 20 minutes.

Sand away any varnish spots that still remain. Use fine sandpaper in order to not damage the underlying wood.

Wipe the surface with a clean damp rag.

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