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Thread: Spilled grease on wood, can I paint over it?

  1. #1

    Spilled grease on wood, can I paint over it?

    I have a shop cabinet (poplar, if it matters) that had a grease gun sitting on top of it in storage. Unfortunately the grease gun leaked and left a huge streak down the door and side.

    Can I paint this thing somehow? I can't imagine I'll be able to clean all the grease that soaked into the wood. There's nothing on the surface right now but it definitely soaked in, as the wood was unfinished. If I clean it as best as I can, is there a primer that'll stick to this, or am I doomed to leave it unpainted?

  2. #2
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    Clean it as nest as you can with TSP and then do a barrier coat of wax free shellac or a shellac based primer.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Unfortunately my BORG was out of shellac primer, but they had some oil based stuff. Think that'd work?

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    TSP does a nice job on grease. I have also covered wood with a wet rag then put an iron on top if it for a few seconds. The steam heats the grease making it liquid and opens the grain of the wood then the rag absorbs the grease. I figured this out by accident once when I was steaming out a nick in a wood stock using this procedure and the cosomoline in the wood came with it. This will raise the grain so you will have to sand a bit.
    Last edited by Michael Schuch; 11-29-2021 at 2:21 AM.

  5. #5
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    Check out Amazon for wax free shellac. It has been the only place, I have been able to find it.
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  6. #6
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    Shellac.net is my go-to source for shellac. Many colors and grades, dewaxed or not, all appear to be in stock.

    They also sell shellac reducer (AKA denatured alcohol) in California, something that has been a repeated item of concern here with the bans on various solvents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Schuch View Post
    TSP does a nice job on grease. I have also covered wood with a wet rag then put an iron on top if it for a few seconds. The steam heats the grease making it liquid and opens the grain of the wood then the rag absorbs the grease. I figured this out by accident once when I was steaming out a nick in a wood stock using this procedure and the cosomoline in the wood came with it. This will raise the grain so you will have to sand a bit.
    That's interesting and something I'd not have thought would work. I'll try it next time I have to get a spot of grease out.

  8. #8
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    Interesting technique, Michael, especially for unfinished wood.

    TSP is "the thing" that is commonly used to degrease cabinets prior to refinishing, which is why I suggested it.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Interesting technique, Michael, especially for unfinished wood.

    TSP is "the thing" that is commonly used to degrease cabinets prior to refinishing, which is why I suggested it.
    I am a big fan of TSP. A teaspoon in the laundry does wonders on dirty, greasy, grimy shop clothes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    TSP is "the thing" that is commonly used to degrease cabinets prior to refinishing, which is why I suggested it.
    Jim, can TSP be used just as a cleaner without marring the existing finish? I'd like to clean our kitchen cabinets, but have been a little hesitant about what to use.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Tymchak View Post
    Jim, can TSP be used just as a cleaner without marring the existing finish? I'd like to clean our kitchen cabinets, but have been a little hesitant about what to use.
    It didn't mar the kitchen cabinets at our old placed finished with Target Coatings products when it was time to do a refresh a few years ago...most places I only needed to do one go through but in the areas surrounding the range, I did like three just to be sure all grease was gone. Read the instructions carefully on the package to make sure the mixture is appropriate for the task.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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