Frequently Asked Questions
Do you dip?
No, I don't. The methods I use are proprietary information, but are much gentler on furniture than tank stripping is.
You're not paying for the process, but the results. So, whatever method a stripper uses, it is the results that you pay for, and the price is going to be the same.
What most people know about stripping can be summed up in two words, tank and dip, so, those are the words they normally use.
Some of the misconceptions about tank stripping are these:
It's cheaper and faster cause all you do is dunk it.
Not really. If a shop has spent two or three thousand dollars for a tank and filled it up with another $3,000 worth of stripper in order to strip faster and easier, why would it give that advantage away to customers in the form of cheaper prices?
The shop would be investing the extra money to make money, not to give it away in the form of cheaper prices.
The main reason for using a tank is to cut down on the rapid evaporation of stripper into the air and to be able to soak the really tough pieces.
It's true, that stripping chairs and smaller pieces might be a little quicker in a tank, it's debatible, but who should benefit from that investment?
To be honest with you, if I thought it was really faster and easier, I would buy one.
Tank stripping loosens the glue joints.
Not necessarily. It really depends on whether it's a hot tank or a cold tank, and the skill and knowledge of the stripper using it.
A hot tank should only be used for architectural stripping like doors, baseboard, porch railings and things like that, but not for furniture.
Heat and moisture will loosen glue joints, whether the piece is in a hot tank or in your damp cellar and soaking any furniture for long periods of time could cause warping or veneer loosening.
There are other methods that are much safer, gentler and kinder to furniture.
Do you do this full time?
It always puzzles me why someone would ask that.
Yes, I do. I've been in business for 29 years and I still work a minimum of 55 hours a week. It's what I do, though as I get older, I am slowing down. This business is my 401K, I never want to be solely dependant on the little that Social Security checks provide, and that is exactly how I planned it from day one.
How long does it take?
Stripping only , takes one or two days.
Refinishing depends on when you get it here, when you need it, and how many people are ahead of you.
I don't work on one piece at a time, but on 10 + pieces at a time.
For instance, I may strip 10 pieces on one day and sand them all on another day and refinish them over two or three other days.
In the mean time, I may stop and strip other pieces that may come in after that or do some repair work on other pieces.
I'm also dealing with customers who are picking up or dropping off pieces, as well as answering the phone calls.
Do you pick up and deliver?
No, I really don't have the time to and everybody knows somebody with a truck or a van. I always kind of chuckle when I see ads for free pickup and delivery because there is no such thing as free anything, somebody is paying for it, either directly, or in the form of higher prices.
A small shop, like my own, cannot be all things, to all people. We have to pick and choose the services that we provide in order to be as efficient as possible.
If I'm out picking up or delivering, I'm not here working on your piece, answering your phone calls, or loading or unloading your furniture.