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How to Restore Furniture with the Speedheater™ Cobra Paint Stripper

By January 8, 2018August 24th, 2022No Comments

How to use Speedheater in WinterWhether you are a DIY garage sale fanatic or professional furniture restorer, our Speedheater™ Cobra Infrared Paint Remover makes your hobby or job faster, cleaner and safer. If old, faded, and uneven paint and varnish surfaces are not the look you want in your home, full paint stripping is your challenge. In addition, cracked, loose and peeling paint is a serious health hazard to both humans and pets when it is pre-1978, lead-based paint.  This old paint’s dust and and fumes are toxic when ingested or inhaled and particularly dangerous for growing children under 5 years old.

Stripping paint from furniture can be very tedious without the proper tools. The smaller Speedheater™ Cobra removes paint quickly and easily with very little mess. It uses gentle infrared rays to warm paint to the point where it can be scraped away in soft clumps. The compact size of the Cobra head makes it possible to remove paint in hard-to-reach places. It is the perfect choice for furniture with intricate carvings, curves, grooves and spindles. The infrared method is gentle enough to be used safely on fragile antique and family heirloom wooden furniture.

How to Safely Use the Cobra to Strip Furniture

Although the Speedheater™ Cobra is much safer than other paint removal methods, it’s still important to protect yourself and your environment when removing paint. Before stripping paint, gather the proper safety equipment and tools:  6 ml. thick plastic sheeting placed on the floor to collect paint waste, a fire extinguisher, a water spray bottle, and a tight-fitting P-100 or N-100 dust face mask. For final paint waste clean up, professionals invest in high quality, HEPA vacuums. DIYers doing smaller jobs often put a special HEPA filter in their home ShopVacs.

Paint and varnish when heated can release their component chemicals’ fumes. Make sure there is plenty of ventilation in the room where you are working. Closing doors and leaving only one window open with a fan pulling the air out of the room is usually sufficient to prevent inhalation reactions from the heated paint. It is rare, but a few people are extremely sensitive to chemicals and cannot tolerate being around them in any form.

A major safety advantage of the Speedheater™Infrared Paint Removers is that they quickly heat paint to only a low temperature and yet are very effective. With less than 5 seconds of exposure from the concentrated infrared rays of the Cobra, the paint is heated to 400-600?, bubbles, and separates from the wood. Paint heated to only these temperatures does not create toxic lead fumes.


Paint Stripping Tips

Prior to stripping furniture, most of the repairs should be done. If an entire piece of furniture is to be stripped, first test an inconspicuous area. An unexpected veneer surface will be delaminated by the concentrated, infrared heat.

Never place the operating Cobra’s metal shroud directly on a surface. It will scorch the wood! With the Cobra held in one hand, move it no closer than an inch from the surface, watch the paint very closely for bubbles and for slight paint fumes (not lead!), and then immediately move it a few feet away from the heated surface. Some users set the Cobra aside by turning it upside down on its Support Bar with the rays pointing up into the open air. Others keep the Cobra in one hand while holding a scraper in the other hand. Scrape the softened paint off right away. With more delicate and expensive wood furniture, a dull, plastic or wooden push scraper may be more appropriate than the sharp, beveled-edge, pull type scrapers recommended for most paint stripping with our Speedheater™.

Do not reheat wood that is nearly bare. It will scorch! If slight amounts of coating remain and a clear coat will be applied later, heavily mist the surface with water, reheat it for less time to release the very thin coating or wet sand it. If water is not used, the dry, wood surface can be painted immediately.

Safe, Effective Furniture Paint Removal

The Speedheater™ Cobra uses 20-year-tested infrared technology to remove paint and varnish. Stripping paint with the Speedheater™ Cobra is more time effective and safer than any other paint removal method. No slow-acting, messy chemicals or wet wood to dry for days. No toxic lead fumes. No flying paint chips from dry scraping. The Cobra creates easily-contained ,soft paint shavings. It also uses 75% less energy than the traditional heat gun method by heating the paint so fast and so thoroughly.

The system’s low operating temperature prevents scorching and dangerous gases from being released into the atmosphere. Infrared heat opens the grain of the wood and draws moisture to the surface. This creates the perfect canvas for a fresh coat of paint or varnish. No other method is safer, faster, more environmentally-friendly or gentler on wood.

Please contact us for more information about the Speedheater™ Cobra.