Stripping And Refinishing Wood Furniture

Can You Paint Over Stained Wood Without Stripping

Refinish Kitchen Cabinets Without Stripping

If you use the right primer, you dont have to do any sanding. Cabinets, furniture, and trim molding are some of the items that can be painted without sanding. Sanding is important for the best results. First, look at the surface you want to paint on.

If it has a lot of dirt or grime on it, it probably needs to be sanded. Third, make sure that the paint is completely dry before you start painting it. Finally, be sure to use a primer that is compatible with your paint.

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Shellac And Lacquer: Finish Removal Made Easy

Before you use paint and varnish remover on a piece of furniture, take a minute to test the finish with denatured alcohol and lacquer thinner. Older furniture often has a shellac or lacquer finish, but it’s hard to know what the finish is just by looking. Shellac and lacquer are clear finishes, like varnish, but they’re much easier to remove. The time you spend to test the finish could save you hours of work.

Test the finish first with denatured alcohol. If the finish liquefies, it’s shellac if it gets soft but doesn’t dissolve, it’s a mixture of shellac and lacquer. Test the surface again with lacquer thinner if it liquefies, it’s lacquer. Shellac can be removed with denatured alcohol, lacquer with lacquer thinner, and a shellac-lacquer combination with a 50-50 mixture of denatured alcohol and lacquer thinner. Stripping with chemical compounds is not necessary to remove these finishes.

Apply the appropriate solvent to a section of the piece of furniture, using an old or throwaway brush. Let the alcohol or thinner work for 5 to 10 seconds, and then wipe it off with a rough cloth or with steel wool. If the finish comes off easily, you can remove the entire finish with the alcohol or thinner paint and varnish remover isn’t necessary. Work quickly — alcohol and lacquer thinner evaporate fast. Clean small sections at a time, and change cloths frequently to keep the old finish from being reapplied to the furniture.

  • Post-Stripping Cleanup Techniques
  • Step : Accept That It May Not Be Perfect

    Dont go for perfection if this is your first furniture stripping. Its never going to look perfect! My first staining project of my dining room table was a nightmare, and I felt horrible that it didnt turn out as I had expected it to. I eventually just had to accept it the way it was, and I ended up LOVING it. But no staining job is going to look perfect when youre starting out. Cut yourself some slack!

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    How To Strip And Refinish Furniture

    If youve ever thought of refinishing an heirloom, stop right there and think no further. Learning how to strip and refinish furniture can be intimidating. Below youll find my step by step instructions on how you can refinish furniture to its original beauty. Transforming a historical piece of furniture into a preserved beauty could not be easier with todays woodworking tools, penetrating stains and choice of varnishes. So what keeps people from refinishing down to the bare wood?

    Well, its time, my friends. Its always going to be easier and quicker to rough sand a piece and apply a fresh coat of paint over top. But if you really want to restore a piece back to its original form with all the character of its natural beauty shining through, youll need a few more supplies, some elbow grease and a little patience. Trust me, the end result will be rewarding!

    Come on in to my garage!

    Before we begin with the step-by-step, I want to show you the transforming power of a fully refinished piece. I completed the footboard first and then stood it next to the untouched headboard. It doesnt even look like they belong together! We dont know how old this set is, but one thing is for sure the refinished footboard looks much more original.

    Step 1: Strip Off the Old Paint or Coating!

    Step 2: Remove Paint from Detail Work

    Step 3: Sand Your Wood

    Step 4: Stain and Varnish

    If you ask me, that makes for a very good nights sleep

    4 Things I learned:

    Assess The Furnitures Current State

    How to Refinish Furniture

    Once youve cleaned the piece, youll have a better idea of the overall scale of the project. If youre dealing with an especially old piece, you may find there are white rings, paint stains, dents, chips and cracks.

    Take an overall assessment of the piece and determine what will need to be done to make these repairs. This will help you determine which supplies youll need such as scrapers, epoxy putty and wax filling compound.

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    Tools Needed For Stripping Furniture Finishes

    • Metal Container and Disposable Brush Strippers can basically eat plastic containers so purchasing a metal container is recommended. If you dont want to purchase a pan, consider buying a foil pan or even use a coffee can. When deciding what type of brush you use, consider using an old paint brush or buying a cheap brush.
    • Scrapers and Pads Grab a wide putty knife to scoop the finish after it has been softened by the stripper. Round off the corners of the putty knife so that you do not scrape into the wood of your furniture when scraping it. You can also use a 3 x 3 piece of plywood, approximately ¼ thick to scrape the finish. Scouring pads that are made of plastic are good tools to remove any stripper or other residue leftover on the wood.
    • Dental Picks and Brass Brushes When you have a piece of furniture with fine details, a dental pick is a good tool to use to pick out the finish. Brand new picks will scratch the wood, though, so dull picks are best. Using a brass brush for woods with large pores or chair legs is best. The brass bristles are much softer than the steel bristles.
    • Round Scrapers Sometimes there are places in the wood that a putty knife cant get to. A great example of this would be dog scratches in hardwood floors. A round scraper works best for this problem. You can fashion a round scraper by putting a screw into a dowel or a fender washer into a pair of locking pliers.

    Pros And Cons Of Paint Stripping Wood Furniture

    Paint stripping is done by applying a liquid or gel chemical product to the old finish, varnish or paint. In many cases, paint stripping is faster and safer than sanding a piece of furniture, however, it is important to wear the proper protective gear such as masks, gloves and protective eyewear. If the paint stripper touches any part of your body be sure to flush it immediately with water to prevent a chemical burn. Sometimes it can be very difficult to remove all the product using a paint stripper alone.

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    How Much Time Does It Take To Refinish A Table

    If you add up all of the time I spent, including two trips to Home Depot, it probably took about 3 hours spread over two days. I think it was time well spent. Lets have a look at some of the other table projects.

    I said at the start of the project that I didnt have enough time to strip this table but I wanted it to have a new look.

    The total time required to sand and stain, including two trips to Home Depot, was about 3 hours. The time was spread out over two days. For a very small investment I think it was time well spent.

    If you have something in your garage that needs new life, give it a try.

    Pros And Cons Of Sanding Wood Furniture

    How to Paint Furniture | Refinishing Wood Furniture | The Home Depot

    Sanding old varnish or paint can be extremely time-consuming and not to mention DIRTY! When you sand a piece of furniture, it can sometimes require using multiple grits and pieces of sandpaper resulting in quite an expense. It is also VERY important to wear the proper protective gear, especially eyewear and masks. However, sanding is the best option to get off all of the paint.

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    Dont Let A Refinishing Company Dip Strip Your Furniture

    Posted by Jax Furniture Refinishing & Upholstery

    May 11, 2015 05:40:52pm

    Refinishing your familys antique table and chairs, your heirloom chest or dresser, or another furniture piece is a great way to continue enjoying it for many years. A professional refinishing job can make your favorite antique look nearly new again, while still maintaining its authenticity and the qualities you initially loved about it. To most antique owners, the toughest part of a furniture refinishing project is finding the best furniture shop for the job. Heres a tip: a primary factor that distinguishes a high quality professional refinishing shop from a subpar shop is its method of stripping the original finish. Find the furniture refinishing shop that hand strips its furniture, and trust your fine furniture to its professionals.

    A Word Of Caution Before You Begin

    Before I walk you through this stripping furniture tutorial, lets talk about safety and disposal. First of all, never ever use a paint stripper that contains methylene chloride. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency banned this chemical in strippers because some people died from using them. The chemical strippers I recommend below do not have methylene chloride, by the way. If youve got some old stripper under your sink, get rid of it and buy the environmentally friendly stuff.

    Speaking of getting rid ofmake sure you properly dispose of your chemical strippers and the gunk that you remove. Check your local recycling to see when the hours are for you to drop it off. Id recommend disposing of it in a clean paint can with a lid . Dont throw it away and dont dump it in the grass.

    Lastly, make sure you thoroughly let your old rags dry before tossing them. Stains, strippers, and other chemicals typically used in stripping are a fire hazard and can spontaneously combust on their own if tossed in a trash can while wet. To dry them, simply spread them out to dry outdoors on a surface, and once thoroughly dry, you can toss them in the trash.

    Happy stripping!

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    Applying Finish Coats Incorrectly

    Applying a finish is the last step in the process of refinishing your wood furniture. Once youve chosen a stain, try to avoid these common mistakes: applying too few coats, applying too many coats, and applying coats unevenly.

    Applying too few coats can give your wood furniture the appearance of a thin and see-through paint job. The woods actual color will be visible, and you will be able to see all the natural flaws in the woods surface. One thin layer is not enough to give your wood the appearance of a high-quality and professional-level stain.

    Applying too many coats can give the wood a plasticky appearance or make it look cheaply made. The best way to tell if your furniture has the right number of coats is to give the layers time to dry and to inspect the piece before applying additional coats. Stop applying coats once the piece looks the way you want it to.

    Another common issue with applying coats of finish to wood furniture is not correctly rubbing it out, leaving the layers uneven. This can lead to the undesired plastic appearance, dried drip marks, and uneven thickness around the piece.

    Apply The Paint Stripper

    HELP: if you

    With a paint brush, spread the Citristrip over the surface of the dresser. Its pretty thick so I could have painted the vertical surfaces, but it was easier to work with the surfaces while they were horizontal so I stripped this dresser incrementally. I used a fairly thick coat just to be thorough, but it was probably overkill. We didnt have any saran wrap when I started this process, but placing plastic wrap over the stripper after youve applied it to the paint prevents evaporation and may give you better results.

    A note about timing. The Citristrip label said to leave the stripper on the surface for 1-24 hours. For most of the dresser, I let the stripper sit overnight, but that had more to do with the fact that I applied it quickly each afternoon and then had to go get the kids at school, so I let it sit until they got on the school bus the next morning.

    You can tell that the stripper is working when you see the paint bubbling up from the surface of the wood. I used a 5 in 1 painters tool to scrape the paint off the surface, but I was careful not to be too rough and scratch the wood. The benefit of the painters tool is that it comes with a tip on one side which is helpful for paint stuck in nooks and crannies. With delicate wood, a plastic scraper might be safer! I dumped the scraped paint into a paper bag, but have old rags and paper towels handy because it can be messy.

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    Apply A Second Coat Of Stripper

    Use an old cloth to wipe away the leftover stripper and residue. You probably did forget a couple areas. Or some areas were stubborn. Its okay to apply more stripper to the stubborn areas. I had to apply more paint stripper in several places. Nows the time to do it, after most of the other stuff has come off.

    Solid Wood Furniture Vs Wood Veneer

    The two most common types of furniture are solid wood and wood veneer. Solid wood is made completely out of wood and wood veneer usually has a thin wooden panel layered on top of a fiberboard or a similar substance. Wood veneered pieces of furniture are usually more difficult to refinish to a raw or natural wood finish but there are pros to both types of furniture:

    Solid Wood Furniture Pros

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    Dont Sand Furniture Strip It Stripping Is Faster And Often Safer

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    Stripping a finish is faster than sanding to remove it.

    This is one I come across often. People tell me in one way or another, that they are going to sand off the finish or paint. So then I point out that stripping is faster, and in the case of paint could even be safer than sanding. Its almost always better to strip than to sand.

    To begin with, except in cases where the old finish is flaking off, its a lot more work to sand than to strip using a paint-and-varnish remover. .

    With shellac and lacquer, I find it easy to use the solvent for the finish, in this case denatured alcohol, to strip the finish. Soak paper towels or rags spread over the surface with the solvent, then wipe off the finish when it dissolves.

    But more importantly, sanding cuts through stain and patina , and it does so unevenly. Once you start cutting through this coloring, you have to sand through it everywhere to get an even coloring for refinishing.

    Stripping is messy, which is probably the reason many people chose to sand instead. But stripping is usually a lot less work, especially if you can be patient enough to give the stripper time to dissolve through to the wood. The overwhelming percentage of old finishes are either shellac or lacquer, and they dissolve and liquefy quickly. All you have to do to remove the sludge is scrape or wipe it off.

    Bob Flexner

    Failing To Strip Completely

    How to Refinish Furniture | Simple Wood Projects | The Home Depot

    When you have determined that you do need to strip a piece, always remove all the old finish or paint thoroughly. Leaving spots will yield an uneven surface when you finally start finishing it. Apply enough stripper to keep the surface wet, and never work in direct sunlight as you can dry the wood. Remove the finish completely before sanding to get the surface ready for the new finish.

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    Choosing How To Restore Wooden Furniture

    Refinishing wooden furniture isnt the first and only option when it comes to bringing a piece back to life. Instead of refinishing the piece completely, you may decide to simply rejuvenate or repair it. Here are three main categories of furniture restoration projects:

  • Rejuvenate: By keeping the existing finish, you can simply clean and wax the surface and revive the piece. This is the simplest method, and it works on wooden furniture thats still in good condition.
  • Repair: Without stripping the finish, you can repair dents and cracks by touching up certain worn-out areas. This method allows you to keep the finish but use special products to fix up the piece.
  • Refinish: Using a finish-stripping product or power sander, you can remove the current finish, make any necessary repairs and touch-ups and then apply new finish.
  • With these options in mind, you may still be wondering if refinishing your wooden piece is the right way to go. If youre uncertain, then you should be aware of the different signs that indicate its time to refinish your wood furniture.

    Best Furniture Wood Stripper Ive Found That Makes Minimal Fumes With Low Vocs

    My favorite paint stripper is Citristrip. Most paint strippers have harsh chemicals and create super strong fumes. Citristrip does not.

    It comes in a gel form and a spray on . Ive used both and they both work well. I would use the spray can for smaller jobs and the gel form for larger ones.

    You can see more of the three best paint strippers on the market here. In this post Ive detailed the pros and cons of these three.

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