How To Refinish Furniture - with Holly!
Updated: Jul 21, 2020
You will need some supplies before you start, check out our list!
Let's get started!
-Make sure you are wearing long sleeves, stripping gloves, respirator, and safety glasses before beginning. -Lay down cardboard around the piece on the floor and make sure windows or doors are open for ventilation. -Add stripper into a bucket and start to apply by brush to the piece. Be generous and keep re-wetting to keep it activated. Give it a few minutes to start to work. The stripper will cause a chemical reaction to the old finish causing it to bubble and start to lift. -When you see this is happening, use the plastic putty knife to help scrape it off. Scrape old finish onto the cardboard. -Once you have as much off as possible, wipe excess with a rag.
So your furniture is stripped, what is next?
-Wipe your entire piece down with water. Be generous, this will neutralize the acid. Let it dry completely and then you are good to sand! -Sand the piece keeping the orbital sander nice and flat. Use a 120 grit disk (changing fairly often) to help remove the rest of the old finish. Then use a 150 grit for final sanding. If you know the piece is veneer use extra caution and sand quickly to avoid burning through the veneer. For true beginners, it is recommended to only hand sand veneer when in doubt. -For rounded corners and edges only use hand sandpaper. Rip sheets in half. Then take one half and fold into 3. Always sand in the direction of the grain.
-Apply chosen stain with stain sponges or rags. Let it sit for 1 to 3 minutes and wipe off in the direction of the grain. Watch for fingerprints and rag marks! Make sure to read the can for dry time instructions. We like to leave it overnight or for one full day.
-The easiest is to use a wax finish or almost any type formulated for wood. Simple paste wax is readily available and very easy to apply. This type of finish is simply put on with a rag and rubbed into the wood. Two to 3 coats and you are done (no sanding in between). -If you are feeling more adventurous and want more of a sheen that the matt wax finishes use an oil-based varnish or polyurethane. Apply multiple coats and very lightly sand in between each with a high grit (320 or 400 is recommended.) -Make sure to clean off any dust before applying another coat and follow the can for drying instructions.
Now stand back and admire the piece you have transformed!
Should you ever need more advice on furniture refinishing please reach out to us. We would be happy to help answer any questions.
*If the piece you are thinking of refinishing is in question of being an antique we would recommend getting an antique dealer of furniture refinisher to have a look at it first. Some antiques have high values but once refinished can be greatly reduced due to changing its original state and patina.