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Old June 7, 2010, 11:20 PM   #1
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Striping wood AK furniture

I have aquired some old Romanian AK furniture, I want to strip the crappy shellac off and possibly draw out the stain and re-apply a better looking color.

What might work best for this in anyone's experience? I'm thinking acetone for the shellac yet I don't know if it would pull stain out of the wood though.
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Old June 7, 2010, 11:31 PM   #2
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I would try using lacquer thinner - available at hardware stores - as it will do an amazing job removing shellac and varnish. I don't think acetone will do much more than clean the shellac.
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Old June 8, 2010, 09:32 AM   #3
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If it's shellac then you will need alcohol to it. Alcohol is the solvent for the shellac.
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Old June 8, 2010, 11:41 AM   #4
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A citrus-based stripper, such as Citri-strip, or the green one made by Zinsser, will remove shellac nicely and work faster than alcohol or lacquer thinner, without any of their hazards of toxicity and inflammable vapors. Some of the color will likely come off along with the shellac.

If it's that nasty red stain you're dealing with, once the finish is off, your best bet is probably to modify the color rather than remove it; red stains are notoriously hard to remove by any means whatsoever. But once the finish is off, you can use a green aniline dye to change icky red to a fairly nice shade of brown...
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Old June 8, 2010, 04:55 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies! I figured denatured alcohol if not acetone.

I'm not picky, green aniline dye may be just what I'll do.

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Old June 10, 2010, 03:25 PM   #6
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I used acetone. Not like with cotton balls. Like with a 5 gallon bucket overnight.
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