Staining And Re-Finishing Furniture- 40+ Pro Tips

We have all come across that piece of furniture that has so much potential. The finish is dull, the veneer is chipped, and we imagine how it would look in a new vibrant stain. So we contemplate stripping and re-finishing it. How hard is it? Can I do it myself, and at what point do I call a professional?
I have discovered that re-finishing furniture, (and I am not talking about painting here), can be more complicated than it seems. After many successful finishes, and a few projects that were ruined, it sure allowed me to step back and research what the professionals have to say. Staining wooden furniture isn’t just a matter of stripping off one finish and applying another. If you are like me, you have run into several road blocks along the way. Here is what the pro’s have to say……..
Practice Before You Move On To Something Valuable Kevin Sharkey Says… “It’s really determined by what the piece means to you. If it’s a family heirloom, like a Chippendale sideboard that you want to preserve and pass down, it’s worth refinishing it. (Note: Sometimes a piece is worth more with a slight blemish than completely refinishing it.) However, I would recommend you consult with a professional. This should not be the first piece you attempt to refinish. But if you pick up a chair or table at a consignment shop or at a flea market, give refinishing a try. It’s a perfect opportunity to try your hand at refinishing” Martha Stewart
Removing Paint And Varnish
- Heat Guns For Save You Money When Removing Layers Of Paint- You can remove paint and varnish in a couple of different ways, primarily by sanding and through the use of chemical strippers. If you have just a layer of stain to remove, use stripper, as the finish will come off with ease. On the other hand if you find multiple layers of paint, consider investing in a heat gun, as it will save you time, effort and money long term. Heat guns run about $15 dollars on Amazon. Heat guns are especially good at taking off multiple layers of paint and varnish all at once. The heat gun softens the paint causing it to bubble up making it easy to remove with a metal scraper. Heat guns take a few minutes to warm up, and when they do, simply move the gun along the surface about 2 inches away from the paint. You never want to simply point the heat gun at one location waiting for the paint to heat up. This will cause the paint to start smoking, and you may risk burning the wood, as I have done . The key to working the gun, I have found is to move the gun slowly in one direction, while using your puddy knife slowly behind to remove the paint. I have found this knife, which has a pointed direction to be useful in ornate carved areas. In addition the knife isn’t so sharp that it gouges the wood. It makes removing the paint seamless in one smooth motion.
- Heat Guns Also Can Release Harmful Vapors In The Paint ” The disadvantage of using heat is that it can be dangerous because of accidental combustion and harmful vapors. Also, you may still have to sand when you’re done. Neither of these first two methods, mechanical or heat, should be used if any of the paint you’re removing could be 30 years old or more since it’s likely to contain lead.” Bob Villa In this case ALWAYS wear a respirator designed for paint fumes.
- The Basic’s When Buying A Stripper From The Store “Most paint stores and home centers stock dozens of liquid- and paste-type chemical strippers. Basically, the three things you need to know are, 1. All of them will eat through almost any finish. 2. The safer the stripper is, the slower it works. 3. Pastes don’t generally work as fast as liquids, but because they stay wet longer, you have more time to scrape off the sludge.” This Old House
- The Faster Strippers Are Deadly Without Ventilation – ” Methylene Chloride Also Called Dichloromethane, or DCM are in the fastest strippers, but be aware that the fumes are deadly. In this article, strippers are listed in 4 categories, allowing you to determine what stripper is the safest to use.
- Dipping Furniture Can Be Quick But Also Does Harm - “Some pros dunk pieces in a vat of chemicals. “This method is the least expensive,” Maxwell says, “but too much chemical exposure isn’t good for the wood, and can damage the veneers and glued joints.” Because of environmental regulations, many dip strippers have switched to flow-over systems, in which the chemicals are circulated through a pump and hosed onto the piece. “Flow-over systems expose the worker to less chemicals, but the furniture is still getting saturated with more stripper than it needs,” Maxwell says.“ This Old House
READ the rest of this article here - Heat Guns Also Can Release Harmful Vapors In The Paint ” The disadvantage of using heat is that it can be dangerous because of accidental combustion and harmful vapors. Also, you may still have to sand when you’re done. Neither of these first two methods, mechanical or heat, should be used if any of the paint you’re removing could be 30 years old or more since it’s likely to contain lead.” Bob Villa In this case ALWAYS wear a respirator designed for paint fumes.
- The Basic’s When Buying A Stripper From The Store “Most paint stores and home centers stock dozens of liquid- and paste-type chemical strippers. Basically, the three things you need to know are, 1. All of them will eat through almost any finish. 2. The safer the stripper is, the slower it works. 3. Pastes don’t generally work as fast as liquids, but because they stay wet longer, you have more time to scrape off the sludge.” This Old House
- The Faster Strippers Are Deadly Without Ventilation – ” Methylene Chloride Also Called Dichloromethane, or DCM are in the fastest strippers, but be aware that the fumes are deadly. In this article, strippers are listed in 4 categories, allowing you to determine what stripper is the safest to use.
- Dipping Furniture Can Be Quick But Also Does Harm - “Some pros dunk pieces in a vat of chemicals. “This method is the least expensive,” Maxwell says, “but too much chemical exposure isn’t good for the wood, and can damage the veneers and glued joints.” Because of environmental regulations, many dip strippers have switched to flow-over systems, in which the chemicals are circulated through a pump and hosed onto the piece. “Flow-over systems expose the worker to less chemicals, but the furniture is still getting saturated with more stripper than it needs,” Maxwell says.“ This Old House
- See more at: http://hersite.info/staining-and-re-finishing-furniture-40-pro-tips/

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