A Guide To Furniture Refinishing Techniques

Learning techniques to refinish your hardwood furniture is an excellent investment in time. You can totally change the look of your room with less than $100.

Is your furniture getting a little ragged looking? Maybe somewhat dated? If your furniture is in sound condition, but worn or tired looking, you can easily give it a facelift yourself. By investing just a little time and money, you can create a totally new look in your living room, dining room or bedroom.

Begin by either moving your furniture outside or opening windows and turning on a fan. Furniture stripping is best done in well-ventilated areas, and can quickly make you ill if you inhale the fumes of the chemical stripper. If you are outside you will want to be in the shade, or work on a cloudy day, so that the chemical stripper does not dry before it has a chance to work.

Once you have your furniture moved out, apply a chemical stripper to the surface. You should wear gloves when doing this, and apply the chemical in a small test area to begin. Apply the stripper generously and then lay a piece of plastic wrap over the treated area, as this enhances the stripping ability. Let the furniture set for the time specified on the directions, and then use a utility knife or paint scrapper to scrape off the paint. You may have to repeat this step a few times to remove all of the paint. Patience is really the key, just take your time and remember to scrape in the direction of the wood grain. Once you get down to the last remaining pieces of paint, you may have to scrub with a wire bristled brush to loosen the last stubborn spots. Usually these are in the corners or spindles of the furniture, and require a great deal of patience.

After all of the paint is removed, go over the furniture lightly with a piece of fine-grained sandpaper. Remember to always sand with the direction of the wood grain. Dust all of the grit off the furniture, and wipe with a damp cloth. Before you apply stain, you need to make certain that all traces of dust are off the furniture. Small particles of dust, when mixed with the stain seriously mar from the appearance of an otherwise perfect piece of furniture. You can either apply a clear coat of stain, if you are happy with the color of the wood, or if you would like to change the color of the wood, apply a colored stain.

Apply the stain in thin coats, with a soft paintbrush. Apply two to three coats, allowing the furniture to dry thoroughly between coats.

You may wish to paint the furniture rather than staining it. Paint can add a lovely, country feel to your furniture, as well as lighten up a room that has a great deal of wood in it. A good paint job is essential. Apply very thin coats of paint, and let each coat dry thoroughly between applications. This will prevent bubbles and streaks in the paint. You can also use one of the varieties of faux finishes that are available in home improvement centers. These can provide a crackle finish or a worn country look, and look best if you take your time and follow the directions exactly. Once the last coat of paint or stain has thoroughly dried, apply several coats of furniture wax. Apply a thin layer with a soft, dust free cloth, and buff between applications. Reapply the wax a few times a year to maintain a protective coating on the furniture.

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