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Varnish on oak worktop (Read 2661 times)
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Varnish on oak worktop
Aug 11th, 2012, 9:44am
Can someone help. I came home one day to find out that my partner had varnished our brand new solid oak worktop. Almost immediately the varnish started to develop patches and make our surfaces look awful. I know hear that this can be unhygienic and with having a new baby arriving in a few months we need to get this sorted.

What can we do? Does anyone know any ways (preferably cheap and effective) ways we can rescue our worktops? Please help?
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Re: Varnish on oak worktop
Reply #1 - Aug 12th, 2012, 8:28am
I wouldn't worry too much about the hygene factor, as long as you keep it wiped down then you shouldn't have a problem. However getting the varnish off could be hard work. There are chemical strippers (Nitromores for instance) that will soften the varnish and allow you to scrape it off; they are pretty nasty though and if they get splashed, even in tiny specks, on any other surface they will permanently mark it.

If I had to do this job I would try a hand scraper first, but it all depends on the type of varnish whether this would be effective. After that I would use a random orbit sander, connected to a vacuum cleaner to collect the enormous amount of dust it would generate. The varnish needs to be well cured though, otherwise it will just soften and clog the abrasive paper on the random orbit sander.

Screwfix have a very cheap random orbit sander for £30 which may be just about man enough to do this job. Get some good quality abrasive discs though cheap ones would be useless for this and I would start with 120grit and work through 150 and 180 to finish with 240grit. You will need too get it all off (that means carrying on sanding for a good while after you think you have got it all off) if you don't want it to look patchy when you apply a finishing oil.

Good luck.
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