How To Remove Polycrylic Finish: 4 Steps To Know

Polycrylic is a notoriously tricky finish to work with. Furthermore, they can be challenging to remove. Even if we are successful in removing it, there may be some complications. For example, the wood can be damaged sometimes. 

So, how to remove Polycrylic finish properly? 

Well, you could sand them off. But it would be a lot of effort. Acetone and other similar solvents work well on most finishes too. But on Polycrylic they don’t work well. On the other hand, Chemical strippers are incredibly effective in removing Polycrylic. But you have to use the water or soy-based remover to do so.

Do you want to know how it all works? That’s why we’ve described each step down for you to complete the process.

Let’s get started-

Which Method Is The Best For Removing Polycrylic?

Various kinds of finishes are used on wooden coasters. But you’ll see that polycrylic is the best one. 

Removing the Polycrylic finish is an easy process. But you need to pick the best technique. That’s why we’ve compared some of the common ways to remove polycrylic finish-

Sanding

The most conventional technique of removing finishes from any wood surface is sanding. It’s a method for removing any finishing.

It is possible to remove Polycrylic with sanding. However, it comes with a slew of restrictions. In this situation, sandpaper with a grit of 200 to 320 is required. But it will take a long time. 

So, a lot of your precious energy will be needed to complete this procedure. Furthermore, sanding improperly can damage your wood surface. 

Solvent

Now, let’s talk about solvents. Polycrylic can’t be entirely removed with them. It doesn’t matter how long you wipe the solvent over it. Plus it’s possible that rubbing it too hard may harm the wood’s surface.

Chemical Stripper

We believe chemical strippers are the best in this. Other finishers are not typically removed in this manner. But it is a preferred method for removing Polycrylic. They’re also not that harmful to the wood if you pick the right stripper.

Now, which is the appropriate stripper to remove polycrylic?

Well, let’s start with which one you shouldn’t use. Chemical paint removers that have Methylene chloride are strictly forbidden. 

Methylene chloride is a caustic, corrosive substance found in almost all chemical strippers. If it gets into touch with our eyes or skin, it may cause severe harm. The gas created from this should not be breathed since it may harm our respiratory system. Furthermore, it is not ecologically friendly.

However, chemical strippers have evolved with time. Some contemporary versions may be found. You should go ahead and purchase the water-based or soy-based chemical strippers! But remember, with these, you have to work for a bit longer. But hey! Better be safe than late, right?

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How To Remove Polycrylic Finish with Water-based Stripper?

So, in this section, we’ll walk you through the whole procedure step by step. Also, you don’t have to calculate anything here like when you do to know how much wood 1 ton of coal equals.

 So, without worrying too much, let’s keep reading-

Necessary Materials

  • Mask 
  • Goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Lab coat
  • Steel wool
  • Scraper
  • Paint stripper (water-based or soy-based)
  • Brush/Spray applicator
  • Waxed paper state (optional)

It’s time to go to work after you’ve collected all of your things.

Step-1: Set Up Your Workspace

Make sure you pick a well-ventilated space. The space should be light and airy.

Turn on the fan before you begin. Make sure the room temperature isn’t too hot or too chilly. Avoid sitting in direct sunlight. Also, don’t work in the basement.

Then you should also avoid leaving any stains. For that, put a cloth beneath the furniture and start removing Polycrylic.

Step-2: Apply the Remover

To coat the remover, you can use a brush or a spray bottle. However, apply it to a tiny portion of the wood’s surface. This way you’ll be able to see if it’s either good or bad for the wood. 

Wait for 5 minutes. If nothing bad happens, you can carry on. 

Also, be sure you use a high-quality spray applicator or bottle. Are you unsure what to look for? Here are a few of our favourites when it comes to spray bottles-

Product 1 
Product 2 

Just get the spray bottles and pour the stripper in it.

Allow the solvent to sit for 15 minutes. If the room isn’t well ventilated, you can cover the wood surface with waxed paper.

Step-3 Scrape Off Polycrylic

Scrape off the Polycrylic gently using the scraper’s side blade. Scrape until the whole coating of Polycrylic has been removed from the wood surface. Place the layers that have been removed in a disposable bag or cloth.

If there is any remaining Polycrylic to be removed, reapply the remover.

Scrape Polycrylic out of the fine cracks. Remove as much Polycrylic from the surface. After all of the Polycrylic has been removed, sand the surface. Make sure to use the best sandpaper for this job. 

Note: Between each application of the stripper, be careful not to sand. That way you’ll be just damaging the wood surface.

Step-4: Dispose of Chemical Stripper in a Safe Way

Chemical strippers are also very flammable. So, soak all of the disposables in a pail of water to get rid of them.

That’s it! This is how you remove polycrylic!

FAQs

Question: Is it possible to remove Polycrylic using acetone?

Answer: Yes, it’s possible to remove Polycrylic using acetone. However, acetone falls short of chemical strippers in terms of effectiveness. Plus acetone may leave stains on wood surfaces.

Question: Is it possible to remove Polycrylic by just rubbing?

Answer: Yes, you may be able to do that. But you need to wet sand and rub out the polycrylic. Use water and wet or dry sandpaper that’s made with silicone carbide. You can also use synthetic microfiber cloth or pad to do that job.

Question: Is it possible to remove polycrylic with vinegar?

Answer: To answer your question, yes, vinegar will aid in the removal of polycrylic. However, you have to mix it with water. A 1:1 water and vinegar solution should be applied to remove the polycrylic.

Conclusion

Now you should have a thorough understanding of how to remove Polycrylic finish. As a result, you may be even more obstinate!

Just remember to keep yourself safe during the procedure. Good luck!

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