Refinishing Furniture

Article From: Products Finishing,

Posted on: 2/1/2002

Question: I have a set of five chairs and a round table that I would like to stain.


I have a set of five chairs and a round table that I would like to stain. It already has paint on it. Do I need to sand it? There are parts of the chair that recently just got some paint on them. Sorry, but I do not know the type of wood the furniture is. R.G.


Don’t worry about the type of wood because it’s really not important. The procedure is the same for all. Unfortunately, stain used to decorate wooden furniture is transparent and will have little effect on painted wood. That means it will not cover up the paint that is already applied. Therefore, the old paint must be removed. Worse than that, there are two basic types of wood stain, penetrating and nonpenetrating. The penetrating stain normally soaks into the wood. It won’t soak into the paint and will just lie on top waiting to be removed by someone’s clothes. The nonpenetrating type will dry, but will not cover the paint.

You have three choices for your refinishing project: 1. Repaint the table and chairs. 2. Sand all the old finish off or use a paint remover to take the finish down to bare wood. Then refinish them with applications of stain and varnish. 3. Take the table and chairs to a furniture refinisher to be stripped. He will remove the finish by dipping the furniture in a chemical solution. Then you can either have him do the refinishing or do it yourself.


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