How to Refinish Wood Furniture in Six Easy Steps

How to Refinish Wood Furniture in Six Easy Steps
  • Opening Intro -

    Refinishing a treasured piece of furniture is a labor of love.

    Revitalize antiques in just six easy steps and bring new life to an old piece of furniture.


Gather the needed supplies

To refinish furniture you will need:

  • Palm Sander
  • Sand Paper (120-150 grit and 220-300 grit)
  • Brushes or clean rags for stain application
  • Wood stain and top coat (if not included in the stain)
  • Rags for cleaning up

Find the right location to begin your project

Refinishing furniture is a messy business so find a location that will be easy to clean up. Some choose to begin outside and then move inside for staining. Consider laying down a drop cloth to help keep things tidy.

Remove hardware and make repairs

Remove hinges, drawer pulls, knobs, panes of glass and any decorative metal pieces. Make sure that any excess glue used in repairs is sanded off during the sanding process or the area will not accept the stain.

Sand off the old finish

A palm sander will make quick work of this tedious part of the project. When using the sander, move it quickly back and forth in the direction of the grain of the wood until all of the old finish is removed. Do not allow the sander to sit in one place and run as it will cause swirly marks that will suddenly appear when the stain is applied.

Sand the piece by hand with the fine grit sand paper

Wipe the piece off with a tack cloth and then using the 220-300 grit sand paper, sand by hand in the direction of the grain of the wood until smooth. Use a tack cloth to completely wipe down the piece, then clean your work area or move the piece to a different location that is as dust free as possible.

Apply the stain

Apply the stain first to a section of the furniture that is not visible to make sure it’s the color you want. Stain the piece following the directions on the product. Both water and oil-based stains have their advantages. Read the stain directions carefully and adhere to them to avoid potential fires and health problems. Wait at least 24 hours before applying the top coat if one is required and allow it to dry. Reinstall any hardware you removed earlier.

Now sit back and admire your refinished piece of furniture, but beware! The beautiful result of your hard work will inspire you to find more pieces that need your tender loving care and newly acquired skills.

Information credited to Jamco Wood Products Ltd., solid wood furniture in Toronto.

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