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How to Refinish Wood Furniture for Beginners

How to Refinish Wood Furniture for Beginners

Wood furniture is a versatile home piece that goes well with rustic, modern or industrial interior design. However, as time passes the wood stain will eventually chip, fade or show scratches. Refinishing is a low-cost, easy-to-do method of saving your wood furniture and giving it new life. Follow these beginner friendly steps before starting your next DIY project:


Clean the surface

1. Clean the surface

Create a cleaning mixture using a dish soap and warm water to remove the dust and grimes from the surface. Use a soft sponge or a paint brush to thoroughly clean every nook and cranny without damaging the wood. With warm water, rinse off the soap using a damp sponge and let it dry thoroughly under the sun for a day or two. 


Strip the old finish

2. Strip the old finish

Stripping is an important step to remove the existing stain, finish or paint. You can choose between two methods:

  • Sanding – Use a coarse sandpaper, sanding block or power sander to remove the old finish, and then switch to a medium grit sandpaper to remove any shine or a fine grit to smoothen the edges. Be mindful of not sanding the actual wood itself.
  • Chemical Strippers – Evenly spread the chemical stripper of your choice on the surface using a bristle brush. Let it sit on the wood based on the amount of time stated on the label. The old finish will visibly crinkle and rise after a while, use a scraper to gently peel it off. After stripping, let the wood dry for 24 hours before proceeding to the next step.

Warning: Chemical strippers produce a strong odour. Remember to work in an open-space or a well-ventilated area. Handle chemical strippers with protective gears including eye goggles and chemical-resistant gloves.


Smoothen the wood

3. Smoothen the wood

Sand and smoothen the furniture to bare wood using a power sander. This also helps in removing the old paint or stain that did not lift from the previous step. A great tip to follow is to always sand along the grain of the wood, otherwise the swirls will show when the new stain is applied.


Seal the wood

 4. Seal the wood

The sanding sealer acts as a primer to ensure that the new stain will apply evenly. This also prevents discoloration or absorbing excess stain from happening. Apply the sanding sealer on all surfaces of the wood using a paint brush while avoiding the hardware.


Pain the stain

5. Paint the stain

This last and hardest step – choosing the colour of your stain. Head to your preferred hardware store and consult how you can get the colour payoff that you want. Once you have chosen, apply the stain in thin even coats per each layer; add more layers to achieve a darker shade. Wipe off any excess with a clean cloth and let it dry completely.

Bring your wood furniture to life in just five easy steps! Get started on your next DIY project now.  Shop for hardware materials, tools and equipment online at True Value via GoCart.
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