Rick the Finn

Used spar urethane in sauna in error

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I've applied two coats of Helmsman spar urethane over the original polyurethane finish that has been on the white pine interior of my sauna for years.  After a month of heating the room and running a box fan, my son's asthma flares as soon as he goes inside.  Checked with Minwax and they said it would never cure and be safe for anyone in this setting and that I should remove it and find something different which will be a huge task (it's on walls, ceiling & benches).   Is there something safe that I could apply over it that would encapsulate it?  If not, how best can I remove it and what would be a proper finish that can handle the water and temps to 200 degrees.  Would a heat gun and scraper be best?   A company in the UK offers a couple of finishes made specifically for saunas but I don't see anything in  the US.

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From my very very limited experience with a sauna, i though the wood was supposed to be unfinished. My parents have a sauna in their house and the wood is unfinished.

I'd use a card scraper to remove the bulk of the finish and a sander to clean up the rest.

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I've never heard of applying a finish to the interior of a sauna. Every one I've been in is just bare wood, usually cedar. Shellac is a good sealer, but doesn't do well with heat and humidity. And I wouldn't want to trust it to block all the off gassing that would occur, especially with a user with sensitivities.

Your choices for removal are chemical strippers, sanding, or scraping. Scraping would be my first choice, but any method is going to be a lot of work.

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The finish makes it easier to keep clean and nice looking since I have pine.  I saw a website for a UK company that sells a couple of finishes made specifically for saunas (TEKNOS Satu & Tikkurila Supi Sauna Finish).  If and when I can remove the spar, I guess I'll see if I can get one of them.  

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I have a buddy who has a sauna - he says it's cedar - and he uses this product:

https://www.amazon.com/Northern-Lights-Group-SEALANT-interior/dp/B00AWHHXOW

Says the outfit that installed the sauna used it, and recommended that he re-seal at least the benches and ceiling every two or three years.  He's been using it on the floor also, and has done the walls once.  He's had the sauna about ten years, and says he's happy with the result.

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