Methods to Refinish Previous Furnishings


Refinishing an older piece of furnishings might be a particularly rewarding process. For an inexpensive price, you may restore a dresser, desk, or different piece of furnishings and breathe new life into it, including attraction and performance to any room. Nevertheless, understanding just a few furnishings refurnishing suggestions is necessary earlier than you resolve to start out your personal mission.

Right here’s what you’ll want to learn about making previous furnishings like new by refinishing it.


Methods to Know If You Ought to Refinish — Or Not

Refinishing previous furnishings works greatest on items which are dated however in first rate situation. Watch out to examine for just a few issues which will restrict the outcomes you may obtain in your piece. In case your piece of furnishings exhibits any of those indicators, it’s possible you’ll wish to skip it and take into account refinishing one thing else to get the perfect outcomes.

  • Cracks in Wooden: The largest worth of your piece is within the high quality of the wooden. Cracks, rot, or splits might be unimaginable for a DIYer to correctly restore.
  • Free Joints: Examine for these — unfastened joints will solely worsen with time and use.
  • Uneven Legs: Make certain yours wants solely refinishing, not full rebuilding. Legs of various lengths result in wobbling.
  • Warped Surfaces: Sadly, you may’t repair present moisture harm. Warping means the wooden’s construction is compromised. Nevertheless, you may take away some minor water stains with just a few DIY therapies. 

Earlier than You Start Refinishing

You’ll get the absolute best outcomes once you perceive what kind of end the furnishings presently has. Correctly figuring out your present end is essential as a result of utilizing the flawed remover dangers damaging your piece.

At present’s House owner Suggestions

Research product labels and warnings, and take a look at first on a small hidden space earlier than stripping your complete floor.

Do the Cotton Ball Take a look at

To determine the end in your furnishings, do the “cotton ball take a look at”:

  • Dampen a cotton ball with acetone nail polish remover.
  • Select an not easily seen take a look at spot in your piece and dab it with the cotton.
  • If the cotton sticks or the end softens, you may have a varnish, lacquer, or shellac end. You possibly can take away these with a chemical stripper.
  • If there’s no impact or it appears painted, you want a paint/poly remover. Carefully learn labels to get the best product.

Refinishing Steps

Stripping previous end allows you to reveal the naked wooden to create a recent look. Right here’s easy methods to do it safely and successfully.

As soon as you recognize the present end, rigorously observe the remover instructions. Put on gloves, eye safety, and a respiratory masks, and be sure you ventilate your workspace. Apply a thick coat of stripper with a chemical-resistant brush and look ahead to effervescent as chemical compounds penetrate the layers of the previous end.

Let the remover sit for the desired time to work totally. Reapply if wanted, however be sure you keep away from drips. Keep in mind, taking the suitable security precautions is essential when dealing with harsh chemical compounds.

Gently scrape off the end with a plastic scraper to keep away from gouging the wooden. Work slowly and punctiliously, and rinse the scraper usually to take away buildup. It could take a number of purposes to clear all traces of the previous end.

After stripping, wash off any chemical residue with remover wash or mineral spirits so the wooden is recent and naked. Let your piece dry totally earlier than sanding since moisture raises the grain. Begin sanding with 120 to 150 grit and sand with the wooden grain. Wipe away all mud with a rag, and ensure the floor is pristine earlier than staining.

Sand with more and more finer paper, as much as 220 grit or larger, and proceed to go within the path of the grain. Completely take away each speck of mud after every grit. The wooden ought to really feel completely easy and have a constant sheen earlier than making use of the primary coat of stain.

Observe label instructions as you stain. Use a high-quality pure bristle brush to use oil-based stain. Brush evenly with the grain and let the stain penetrate the naked wooden. Longer penetration yields a richer, darker colour. After letting it sit for round quarter-hour, wipe off the surplus stain throughout the grain with a clear, lint-free rag. Wait 4 to 6 hours earlier than including a second coat for a darker hue.

Stir the clear end nicely earlier than making use of; don’t shake it. Use a premium pure bristle brush designed for finishes to softly apply a skinny, even coat.

Enable the end to treatment totally, then calmly sand with 220-grit paper to prep for the subsequent coat. Apply a second easy coat, let your piece dry completely, and resolve if you need further coats. Make certain test to the label’s really helpful treatment time earlier than utilizing or transferring the furnishings.

The suitable end helps safeguard the wooden from put on, scrapes, warmth, spills, and basic put on and tear. Use a high-quality brush to use skinny, easy coats. Frivolously sand between coats with 220+ grit for optimum adhesion.

Security Notes: Many refinishing merchandise include harsh chemical compounds. Work in a well-ventilated space, by no means smoke, and correctly eliminate rags, which may combust. Rags soaked in stripper chemical compounds and sure oils generate warmth as they oxidize, which may trigger spontaneous combustion if not dealt with appropriately. Enable rags to totally dry in an open area or soak in water earlier than disposal.


So, Is Refinishing Previous Furnishings Value It?

Refinishing classic furnishings can completely be definitely worth the effort and time. You possibly can find yourself with a novel, character-filled showpiece at a fraction of the price of shopping for a brand new piece.

Nevertheless, items with extreme harm or structural flaws aren’t very best candidates for DIY refinishing. Realistically assess your piece’s situation earlier than beginning any work. Furnishings with pervasive cracks, splits, unfastened joints, or warping wants skilled restore. Low-end furnishings made with inferior development usually isn’t definitely worth the effort, both.

Regardless of any cons, refinishing well-made furnishings with reasonable put on and tear might be extraordinarily rewarding for DIYers prepared to take their time and observe correct strategies.

Earlier than you begin your personal DIY mission, it’s additionally necessary to think about what to not do. For extra info, try our article on easy methods to keep away from eating desk refinishing errors.


FAQs About Refinishing Furnishings

What provides do I would like?

Have stripping chemical compounds and remover wash, numerous grit sandpaper, rags, brushes, plastic scraper, stain, end, high-quality applicator brushes, and security gear, together with a masks, for any furnishings refinishing initiatives.


How do I determine the present end?

Do the “cotton ball take a look at.” Begin by dabbing a hidden spot with acetone. If that space softens, it’s shellac, varnish, or lacquer. If it has no impact, it seemingly signifies that it’s paint. At all times take a look at first earlier than making use of remover.


Can I refinish open air?

It’s attainable to refinish open air, but it surely’s additionally difficult. Tent off the realm to regulate mud and chemical compounds, and work underneath a lined porch for simpler cleanup. Monitor the climate carefully if stripping furnishings exterior.


What’s the easiest way to strip previous end?

Use the proper stripper for the end. Liberally apply it with a chemical-resistant brush and look ahead to it to totally penetrate. Gently scrape off with a plastic scraper, reapplying as wanted. Take care to not gouge the wooden.


What number of coats of stain and end ought to I take advantage of?

One to 2 coats of stain will sometimes suffice when refinishing furnishings. Two end coats present good safety, however three is best for a extra sturdy end result. Carefully observe label instructions and calmly sand between coats for optimum adhesion.


avatar for Mitchell Layton

Mitchell Layton is a former skilled mover who presently lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mitchell spent years packing and transferring for REAL Rock N Roll Movers, a industrial and residential transferring firm primarily based in Los Angeles that’s primarily staffed with up-and-coming musicians. That gave him loads of expertise navigating field vehicles up and down the winding streets of LA.

Along with transferring a whole bunch of joyful prospects into new properties and residences all throughout Southern California, Mitchell has additionally carried out company strikes on firm tons for Nickelodeon, Warner Bros, Common Studios, Paramount, and extra. After pouring blood, sweat, and tears into his career, Mitchell has all of the useful suggestions you want to your subsequent transfer.

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photo of Lori Zaino

Lori Zaino is a contract author and editor primarily based in Madrid, Spain. With almost 20 years of editorial expertise, she’s written and edited for publications like Forbes, CNN, Insider, NBC, Newsweek, The Factors Man, The Infatuation, and lots of others. Having simply accomplished her first residence renovation, she’s extra concerned about residence enhancements than ever, devoted to bringing you recent and correct content material that will help you replace your residing areas.

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