removing polyurethane from wood
I have a wood box that a family member helped build, and he sprayed it with a can of spray polyurethane, which he sprayed on many times, creating a shiny coat. Well, I'm redoing it now, because my wife doesn't like the coating. I started by sanding off the bulk of it. But now, in the small grooves in the grain (the box was not polished much), there remains bits of shiny polyurethane. I want to get rid of it.
So, this whole process has been a learning process. At Home Depot, they told me I could use Low Odor Mineral Spirits, and apply it with a tack cloth, and use a small bristle brush to rub in the direction of the wood grain. (I bought a 3-pack of handheld brushes, one being nylon, one some kind of softer metal wire, and one being a steel wire brush.)
I tried this, wiping on mineral spirits, and then using the softer metal wire brush. (I briefly tried the steel wire brush, but found it took off much wood in the process.)
But now, as it sits drying, I see the polyurethane remains. (Though some of the Titebond wood glue has come undone at certain joints...awesome.)
So, what should I do?
1) Get something stronger? (If so, what? Prefer something as nontoxic and nondangerous as possible. I don't have a shop to work in.)
2) Go back with mineral spirits and use the steel wire brush?
3) Something else?
Thanks for reading!
PS: Next steps, sand it a bit, as the walls of the box are not entirely flat; rebuild the lid from spare matching wood; finish.
Last edited by frozenbase; 02-02-2013 at 09:40 PM.