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Circa 1850 Furniture Stripper : I have purchased your product and am a little confused as it says protect work area with polyethylene or foil sheet. Am I supposed to cover the area I am working on after I apply the stripper? I want to make sure I do

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Marilyn:You don't cover the area where you are actually using the stripper; you use foil or polyehtylene as a drop cloth around the area, to prevent floors, walls etc. from being stipped if stripper drips or splashes.

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You protect things around the area where you are working. If the stripper splatters onto other surfaces, it can take the paint off of that or stain it. This stripper works like a heavy duty cleaner. Leave it on the surface for a little while, then scrape off. Once you have the bulk of the paint or varnish scraped off, brush on another coat and scrub with 0000 steel wool (you can dip this in the stripper) or a copper (not steel) brush. Wipe off and repeat the scrubbing until it's a clean as you want. Once the clean surface has dried, sand with fine sand paper to finish preparation. Circa 1850 is a heavy duty chemical cleaner, so protect your hands with heavy plastic (stripping) gloves and protect surrounding surfaces with plastic, cloth tarps or newspapers. Compared to cheaper strippers, it's actually a LOT less caustic to skin and a lot less "fummy", but still, protect your skin, work in a well ventilated area. If you get some on your skin, flush the area with a lot of water. You'll be fine. I really love this product because it's liquid, and so works more like a cleaner than the semi-paste strippers. I also love it because relative to other strippers it is gentler in me and on the wood. Great product. I hope this helps you have a better idea of how to work with it.

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I think the instruction provided is to reduce the chance of getting the stripper on surfaces you do not intend to strip. I found this to be an effective product to remove old varnish from boat floorboards. The stripper does evaporate fairly quickly, so you can't let it sit too long before scraping it. I used a maple scraper to avoid damaging the wood. Hope that helps.

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