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I was reading up that different finishes can be removed with different chemicals (paint thinner, alcohol, etc) based on the finish. Is there any way to identify what this finish on the wood in the back of my house may be. It was most likely put up in the 1950s, its peeling. I would like to remove it, and probably just paint over the wood white. Is there any way to identify the best way of removing this, with out buying different chemical removers to try each one?enter image description here

Few more pictures here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/WzkvpcRnDbMFwF6x8

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If it's outside, I'd say it's more than likely some kind of varnish. I think you'd need a "chemical stripper" (there are "green" ones these days: https://www.homedepot.com/p/EZ-Strip-32-oz-Paint-and-Varnish-Stripper-ESA-700/205725398).

The equation is basically:

  • Remove shellac with alcohol
  • Remove lacquer with lacquer thinner
  • Remove everything else with stripper

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