When I built my house about 20 years ago I stained the woodwork and applied three coats of satin polyurethane (Minwax). The house is a passive solar place and after all these years the window sills have taken a beating from the sun. The poly has dried out and has left the wood exposed pretty much. As an experiment I sanded a windowsill then restained it because I had removed much of the surface coloring then reapplied polyurethane. It came out a little darker than the rest of the original window casing which is OK with me, it's not really that noticable, but...........parts of the original polyurethane which was not removed either from the sun or me sanding now look blotchy and yellowish. It's mostly near the edges or in portions where the sun has not attacked the original coating.
Is there any good method to remove the original polyurethane other than sanding the heck out of everything? I know if I try to sand just these small areas I'll end up messing up the surrounding area too. Or is there a better overall way to address this problem? Maybe re-applying poly is not the best solution, I was just trying to match the original woodwork.
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I don't know of an easy way either. In addition to what just Bill said, maybe a detail sander would help. I would think about using something like a marine varnish when you redo these. It would be a bit more resistant to UV rays and should hold up better. Damn bright shiny thing up in the sky....
Thanks for the comments, I never thought of a heat gun..........that's worth a try. Geez....I was hoping someone would have a magic bullet to get this stuff off. Solar houses are nice but the furnature and woodwork takes a beating from it.
I'll give the heat gun and a scraper a try and see if that softens it. Thanks for the marine varnish idea also, I'll look into it. Do you know if varnish can be applied over poly just in case I miss a few spots?