Stylish and Comfortable Furniture

How To Refinish Hardwood Furniture

by Jason Mason

Do you have an old hardwood table that you want to breathe some new life into? You can restore an old cabinet and make it look entirely new by applying a new finish. This can be a very fun and rewarding DIY project. The hardest part of refinishing hardwood furniture is removing the existing stain finish. This article compares a few of the best methods of stain removal. It should help you decide which approach is best for your particular cabinet.

Using Just Sanders

Any stain finish can be removed with just sandpaper. Of course, some finishes will take a very long time to get off, especially if you don't have a power sander. So, you first want to make sure you have a vibrating power sander. However, you will still need some handheld sanders to reach all of the corners and tight spaces that the larger power sander can't reach. Sponge sanders are usually the most convenient for furniture. But, how do you know if sanding will be time-efficient? Some stains are very stubborn and it will simply take too long to get them off, even if you have power sanders. You should test a small, hidden area of the wood to see if the stain can come off easily. Also, if you do start and it seems like it is going to be much harder than anticipated, you can then bring in the chemicals.

Using Chemical Strippers

Most people want to avoid using chemical strippers. The fumes are nasty, they could damage your clothes, and (worst of all) they could damage your wood. However, strippers are often the only way to get stains off of the wood. You use a rag to rub the stripper onto the wood. Let it soak in for a bit and then sand it off. The only risk is that they stripper will stain the wood. You will then need to sand off the stained area, creating a bigger job for yourself. When you use strippers, you almost always need to use sanders too. The stripper will weaken the stain, but it isn't going to make it fall off of the wood. This is why it is smarter to try to just sand you stain off before using any chemicals.

Whether you use sanders, strippers, or a combination of both, refinishing an old piece of furniture is going to make it look and feel new.