removing polyurethane from hardwood floors

Published by Kat on February 14, 2009 - 2:11pm

I am in the process of refinishing all the hardwood floors in my 1930's home. The old old finish was easy to remove with Zinsser Strip Fast Furniture Refinisher and we didn't restain and it looks beautiful. We put on several coats of a protectant finish that has a little bit of gloss to it. But the previous owner had refinished one room and it has a matte polyurethane finish on. This remover doesn't seem to budge this finish & I'm at a loss. I do not want to sand - the floors are in gorgeous condition & we love the warm look of our already refinished floors & don't want to deviate from that. This floor that I'm currently trying to strip butts up against the floors and stairs that I've already done so a uniform look is what I'm going for. Any tips as to what products will remove this finish will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!!

Kat

From your post it appears that you used the Zinnser Furniture Refinisher at http://www.zinsser.com/product_detail.asp?ProductID=170. It gets the stain out with little or no damage to the wood floor. There are stronger strippers in the Zinnser line at http://www.zinsser.com/subcat.asp?CategoryID=16, but my concern is that they will damage the floor and too much scrapping can also leave marks.

In keeping with the above goal of removing the stain without damaging the floor, you have several choices. Try each on an inconspicuous place in the room and make sure there is plenty of ventilation and you use rubber gloves.

1) Formby's® Wood Formula Paint & Poly Remover and Paint & Poly Remover Wash at http://www.formbys.com/products/paint_poly_remover_direct.cfm

This is pretty power stuff and you should take precautions. Following the directions carefully at http://www.formbys.com/products/paint_poly_remover_direct.cfm

2) Mötsenböcker’s Paint and Varnish remover

http://liftoffinc.com/product-paint-varnish-remover.php

This product is water based and green. It may do the job too so it's worth a try and has lower VOCs.

Try each product on an inconspicuous place in the room and make sure there is plenty of ventilation and you use rubber gloves.

Let us know the results and feel free to ask additional questions. Other member of the community are encouraged to help out Kat with your suggestions.

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