Refinishing Wood Furniture

Written by Genevieve Hawkins
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If you have solid wood furniture at home that has lost its original luster, there may be something you can do about it. Structurally sound pieces can get a face lift for a small amount of money and a little bit of elbow grease. Many times, it can look better than the original piece of furniture that you started with.

Refinishing Wood

Generally, you will need several tools and materials to make your wood look new again--lots of sandpaper, chemical strippers, stains, sealers, and varnish or lacquer. A power sander such as a belt sander may be useful for some parts of the job, but you must remember to alternate between sandpapers of various grits and sanding levels that remove what needs to be removed but still keep it safe. Always remember to finish with finer and finer sandpapers, which are denoted by higher numbers such as 220.

After chemically stripping the original finish and allowing the wood to dry, it is time to put a new coat on. Some woods, such as oak and mahogany, will require a grain filler, which should be used to color match the stain if you want the wood to show less. A sanding sealer should then be applied, which can either be purchased or mixed with equal parts turpentine in a regular stain.

After applying the sanding sealer, the stain is put on. This can be either water or oil based, and each has advantages and disadvantages, which can better be sorted from the labels. Apply this in several coats going with the grain of the wood. From there, apply a lacquer or finish on it.


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