W114 Wood Refinishing Attempt - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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W114 Wood Refinishing Attempt

I finally got a chance to redo at least the glove box door wood and had trouble stripping the shellac or whatever is applied over the wood veneer.

I read on a R107 forum a person using a heat gun and a putty knife to strip away the clear coat. It certainly softened up the old coating but it is not really effective to completely strip off the coating. Basically I smeared it off and left a film on the veneer.

I then tried lacquer thinner with little effect despite leaving it on for 10 minutes, then tried denatured alcohol that worked better with hard persistent rubbing with a cloth. Fine steel wool did not assist in the removal.

Then a few coats of satin clear coat with sanding in between, and the results was reasonable.

Is there any other suggestions to make the clear coat removal easier? I would not want to use the heat gun as I am hoping to do the remaining wood in place on the dash.

Before/After Pics:

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 03:58 PM
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Good start, the before and after shots make it look great.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Weird how the shellac looks like the car was baked in the Texas desert!

Keeping an eye on your Stroke 8 project updates!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 05:41 PM
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If indeed it is shellac, alcohol is the solvent. Shellac once was a popular finish for furniture because it dried so fast. It does alligator as in your first photo and also is not resistant to water.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-18-2014, 11:36 AM
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MB used a catylised finish, tougher than nails. use a good paint stripper and then use only steel wool to remove. may take several coats. the veneer is as thin as paper so dont sand or scrape.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-18-2014, 01:09 PM
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I think it looks great so far but agree with others that sanding in not recommended, it will go bare around the edges quickly. Heat, likewise, could cause it to separate at the glue substrate level.
When I did mine, looked just like your before pic with a leathery cracking, I used a Super Strength Paint Stripper Gel, I forget the brand but it was a well known one right off the shelf at the hardware store. I liberally covered with the gel using gloves and a paint brush, keep it even and thick, it only works when wet. Let it sit for half an hour or until dry then scrape ***with a plastic scraper, not metal to avoid gouges*** and then once most is off go at it with #0000 grade steel wool, also from the hardware store.
If the first coat of stripper (that reminds me, I need to stop buying coats for strippers) doesn't get all the veneer off, do another coat. This basically does the work for you and you will never prep wood any other way after doing this. Good luck and show us your results, again, looks great so far!


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-18-2014, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I agree also that sanding is a no no and with a heat gun there is the risk of burning the veneer. I also tried a super stripper gel but did not leave it on for very long. Will give it at least 30 mins of working time next go around.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2014, 05:48 PM
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I redid the wood in my 108 and used stripper also. There was no damage to the wood whatsoever, and I used a plastic putty knife to get the stuff off. It'll take a while. I ended up using marine grade polyurethane to finish the stuff, which has withstood heat, cold, etc. I took all the wood off though - it's not something to do while installed.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2014, 05:57 PM
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Theres a thread around here some where showing how simple it is to get this stuff off..

here we are

Got me some cheap dash wood for my W123 300D - PeachParts Mercedes ShopForum

Your doing an good job....but you need to fill that grain more....it looks like you just piled it....you really have to pile on the lacquer to fill the grain then sand it way down and repeat till its filled.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2014, 06:20 PM
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If you are into it, you can do what I did and vinyl wrap the dash wood
I did black carbon fiber


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