Message Boards


  • Please be sure posts are category appropriate.
  • No off-topic or off-color postings.
  • Postings may be deleted at the discretion of HGTV Moderators.
  • No advertising is allowed.
  • Be Nice. No name calling, personal attacks or flaming.
  • Certain words will trigger moderation of the post. These words mostly cover political and religious topics, which are OFF the topics covered by HGTV.
  • For general message board help, click the tab labeled "Tools," and choose "Help" from the dropdown menu.
Full Guidelines
  HGTV Message Boards
Hop To Forum Categories   Decorating
Hop To Forums   Trash to Treasure
  Staining wood in cold garage/workshop?
Staining wood in cold garage/workshop? Sign In/Join 
I am refinishing a dresser. I removed the majority of the old paint and finish in my living room using a non-caustic stripper (Citristrip). I am at the point where I need to sand and then stain the wood.

Here is my problem. I live in an apartment and have a dog, so I don't want to sand or stain it inside. I don't want to expose the dog to sawdust and stain/finish fumes so my only other option is to bring the piece to a friends house who has a detached garage/workshop. However, it is cold here 40° F and below (some nights over the next 10 days it will drop to below 20° F). I know that its not recommended to stain in cold temps.

So I guess my options are:

1. Stain indoors (not really an option b/c of the dog)

2. Stain in cold garage

3. Wait until Spring to stain

Also, it has been suggested that the piece is not quite ready for sanding. Someone said I should use a methylene chloride stripper to get the paint residue that is in the grain. That sanding wont get it out...and that I should do this in a well ventilated area in 60° + weather. Which obviously isn't happening for a while...

Thoughts? Recommendations?

Here is the item I am staining:


During the first coat of Citristrip
After first coat of Citristrip

After second coat
After second coat 2


- Dan
Posts: 13 | Location: NJ | Registered: Jan 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of conrad
posted Hide Post
Personally I have never liked Citristrip, just because I found it so slow and ineffectual on painted wood. Strypeeze is what I use when needed. Apply it and cover with plastic to keep it working longer. The final touches I use a stiffened old paint brush and cheap stiff tooth brush to get into any crevasses.

If you don't use a strong chemical stripper, chances are the sanding is still not going to remove the last of the paint, unless you go really deep and I sure hope you have a belt sander to use.

I would move the item to the garage to do the rest of the work (stripping or sanding), whatever it takes. You will then have to check the labels on the stains and finish for the minimum temps to work and cure. So you might be waiting to do parts of it.
Posts: 9612 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
I think I have a solution. My friend said I can bring it down to his basement instead of the garage. The basement has windows that I can open for ventilation and I can bring a fan to circulate the fumes toward them. Then I can do the chemical stripping, stain and finish indoors.

I will get some methylene chloride stripper and see how it goes.



- Dan
Posts: 13 | Location: NJ | Registered: Jan 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of out on a limb
posted Hide Post
glad that'll work for you - i was going to tell you to wait until spring!! LOL!!


Posts: 5585 | Location: dayton ohio | Registered: Jul 11, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
You can also use broken glass to "sand" your item. Break the glass and use the curved part of the broken chip to plane your wood smooth. You will feel it grip the wood and plane it or the glass will just slide over the wood and not do anything. The point of the glass is good for cleaning up tight holes and cracks. Careful not to cut yourself or gouge the wood. It works really well and does not smell up the room you are working in. You have to get use to the glass. You can have a 3 inch piece of glass but maybe only a 1/4 inch of that curve will grip the wood. Try it . It is so easy. JH
Posts: 1119 | Registered: Jan 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata    HGTV Message Boards  Hop To Forum Categories  Decorating  Hop To Forums  Trash to Treasure    Staining wood in cold garage/workshop?