How Do You Refinish Wood Furniture?


Quick Answer

Refinishing breathes life into old furniture. Although there are many furniture refinishing techniques, Lowe's recommends using a chemical stripper, sandpaper, a putty knife, steel wool, grain filler, sanding sealer, stain and top coating.

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Full Answer

  1. Put on proper protection

    Before getting started, make sure that all work is done in a well-ventilated area. Wear a face mask whenever interacting with chemical solutions. Make sure there are no objects nearby that can be damaged by chemicals.

  2. Apply stripper

    Apply a generous amount of finish stripper to all surfaces of the furniture. Allow it to dry according to the manufacturer's specifications. Don't let it become too dry. Once the putty knife can cut through to the wood surface, it's time to move on.

  3. Remove the original finish

    Use the putty knife or a scraper to carefully remove the original finish. After removing as much as possible, use medium-grade steel wool to get the rest.

  4. Sand the wood

    Start with 120-grit sandpaper to remove any remaining finish, then use 220-grit sandpaper to smooth the whole piece down. Sand with the grain whenever sanding by hand.

  5. Apply grain sealer

    Depending on the kind of grain sealer being used, it may be necessary to wait until after staining to apply grain sealer. Check the manufacturer's label for instructions.

  6. Apply sanding sealer

    Apply a generous amount of sanding sealer, let it soak in for a few minutes, allow it to dry fully, and then smooth it out with 220-grit sandpaper.

  7. Apply stain and top coating

    There are many different stain and top coating types and application methods. Apply them according to the specific manufacturer's instructions on the label.

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