To strip or not to strip a cast iron planter and sconce shelves

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by colonelmustard, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. colonelmustard

    colonelmustard Active Member

    I picked up a few items at an auction last year that are sitting on my project table because I am not sure if I should strip them. The previous owners used what I think is Rub N Buff on them as they were still kind of tacky when I purchased them. My intent is to sell them...I think.

    The first is a cast iron planter. It really is amazing but the gold and antique gold finish I think hurts it:
    These shelves I am certain I want to strip. They look to be mahogany under there:
    So would you strip these items? If so what in the world takes of this RubnBuff stuff?
  2. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    Could repaint the iron unless you want it raw. Methylene chloride based stripper should work on the sconces. Not sure if you can even still buy this, as it is pretty toxic stuff.
  3. Vincent J. LaRuffa

    Vincent J. LaRuffa New Member

    If they had original paint or gilding you would want to leave them alone. In this case, stripping would not effect the value.
    colonelmustard likes this.
  4. colonelmustard

    colonelmustard Active Member

    Even the "Methylene chloride" sounds dangerous! I will look into that. Thank you
  5. colonelmustard

    colonelmustard Active Member

    I wonder if using the power washer on the cast iron would remove that paint?
  6. Sandra

    Sandra Well-Known Member

    There is a non-methylene chloride product available that I have found highly effective in removing paint and varnish from any surface, especially highly carved items such as your sconces and detailed work in cast iron planter.
    The company is called Regents E-Z Way Paint and Varnish Remover, they are located in Washington State and will ship. They have a website you could google for the information.
    I have found the process quite simple, just spray the product on the surface, encase the item in a heavy-duty plastic bag and let the stripper do the work. After most of the finish has been removed, I get into the crevices with a regular paintbrush with the bristles trimmed down to about half an inch.
  7. colonelmustard

    colonelmustard Active Member

    Found them! Would you suggest I use the industrial strength? Or Semi paste for vertical surfaces. Thank you
    Sandra likes this.
  8. Modest Muse

    Modest Muse Active Member

    I would definitely strip them; nice pieces but that gold paint is ugh :yuck:. Black paint on the planter would also look great as @very brad suggested.
  9. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Moderator Moderator

    I began to strip a pine chest on Tuesday.

    In the 90's when I last did any stripping the best stuff in the UK at the time was Nitromors.

    I went to buy some and discovered it did not contain Methylene chloride any more.

    The glorious EU banned it in 2009.

    I was told Nitromors does not work very well now as the main ingredient that actually melted the paint was gone.

    Someone suggested Caustic soda and warm water although I have not tried it.

    In the end I bought a product called Paint Panther.

    It seems to work well however the project is on hold because I'm too busy.
    komokwa, sabre123 and colonelmustard like this.
  10. colonelmustard

    colonelmustard Active Member

    I hear ya...that gold finish is bad. I thought about just repainting it but existing paint is really globbed on in areas and the detail is lost. Strip it raw and maybe a thin coat of linseed. I imagine it is beautiful under all that gook.
    Sandra likes this.
  11. Sandra

    Sandra Well-Known Member

    I would think the regular stripper would be effective here, as you could rotate your items once they are encased in the heavy-duty plastic bag, ensuring overall coverage of the product. I find the semi-paste good on vertical surfaces that can't be removed, such as moulding trims and garage doors.

    Edit to add: - I am pretty sure that both the semi-paste and regular are the same strength, there is just a thickening agent used in the semi-paste to help it cling to vertical surfaces.
  12. Phil Douglas

    Phil Douglas Member

    Here in Australia we can still buy methylene chloride stripper, but it is nasty stuff...

    Caustic soda will change the appearance of wood very noticeably and damage it. I would only suggest it for a cheap piece which had wood worm damage -- they don't like it.

    Caustic soda is a good way of treating a cast iron piece. It will not damage the iron, and as long as there is enough caustic in solution, it won't rust, either. So a caustic solution dip followed by high pressure water is a treatment that will strip the iron down without causing any damage. But it is a messy process, and you have to be very careful not to get it on you.
    CheersDears and colonelmustard like this.
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