I recently bought a 1912-vintage heritage house here in Vancouver B.C., and expect I will be posting a few questions here, but this is my first go. I have extensive wainscoting with a dark finish (likely linseed oil based), and I want to strip that finish (too dark), but was trying to find something that was safer and more comfortable to use than methylene chloride, heat guns, orange oil strippers, or other high odor type materials, and also minimized the use of scrapers (and consequent damage). I do have young kids, after all. Tried methyl hydrate, which stripped it beautifully but slowly (lots of elbow grease). I like that it is cheap, reasonably safe & comfortable to use indoors (compared with mineral spirits, acetone, etc.). Two questions:
-anybody have any suggestions for something better given my objectives?
-it seems like methyl hydrate would work better if it could sit on it for a few minutes before you came to rub/scrape it off to soften up the old finish. Any thoughts about how to do that (gelling agents, soaked cloths, other tricks)?