Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Franmar Soy Gel Works Like a Charm

My husband has been working on a project since last summer with no luck. We found an old dresser/chest of drawers in our basement and decided to refinish it.

Well, we're not too experienced with refinishing furniture we just kinda did whatever. We've worked on a few pieces before. One was already painted so he just sanded it down and repainted it with crackle paint. Another was covered with layers of gunk so he sanded it down and found a beautiful natural wood underneath all the layers so he just clear coated it and let the natural finish shine.

With this project he sanded it down to remove all the old finish then he figured he would just paint it. So far so good. The paint dried and it looked ok. Then guess what happened? The paint bubbled and started peeling off. Not good. Can't put latex paint over whatever oil based finish had been on the ancient thing even after sanding it all off, the finish was too deep in the wood.

So we were left with a mess of bubbling peeling paint that was awful. He tried sanding it again, no luck, tried peeling it, no luck. Then he bought some paint stripper at Home Depot that totally sucked. He worked on it for days and it did not work at all, plus it made me so sick I thought I was going to throw up and it gave me a terrible migraine -and that was from the odor drifting from across the yard. The awful odor drifted into the house and bothered me terribly for weeks. I am sensitive to odors and that one was really bad. He finally gave up and chucked it in the garage.

Then over Thanksgiving weekend the DIY network was running Cool Tool marathons and they had the product SOYGel on one episode, an all natural paint stripper from Franmar.

We got a quart of it and over Christmas vacation he finally got around to using it. WOW!!! The results are amazing. It did exactly what it said it would, with NO ODORS or FUMES. He used the SOYGel stripper in the basement and I never smelled a thing. Even when I went downstairs to see how it was going...nothing, nada, no smell. And it worked, the paint and gunk was gone. My dresser is clean.

Now I just have to find a finish that is as odor free (otherwise we are still stuck not finishing this project until spring when it can go back outside).

I want to give it a black satin finish, solid black, not glossy, but not flat, satiny. That black that is so popular right now. But how can I get that finish in an eco-friendly way that isn't latex paint because we've already established that isn't going to work?

Anyone have any suggestions for an eco-friendly paint or stain that will work?

1 comment:

plangal said...

Hi, Found this post because I'm using soy gel now to refinish a dresser. I stained a piece of furniture before with black stain (about 3 or 4 coats)...and you can use polyurethane in whatever finish you want on top. I used water based stain and poly. It's not odor free, but it is low odor. Another option may be milk paint...haven't used it, but a friend at work has. Not sure what colors it comes in. good luck!!!