There are several different ways to refinish furniture. These methods may vary from person to person, but many of them have some similarities. You can find instructions on how to strip a piece of furniture and refinish it with mineral spirits. These methods will help you determine whether your furniture needs refinishing or simply needs a new clear coat. They will also cover different types of refinishing, such as using oil finishes or wipe-on varnish products.
Whether to strip a piece of furniture before refinishing
Before you begin refinishing your furniture, you’ll need to clean it thoroughly. The last thing you want is an uneven surface. The first step is to clean any wax or old finish from the wood. Using a wood cleaner and wax remover will remove old finish and save you hours of work. However, be sure not to leave spots on the wood when stripping, as this will result in an uneven finish when you finish the piece. Another important step is to keep the surface wet. Avoid placing the furniture in direct sunlight, as it can dry out the wood.
If you’re concerned about damaging the wood, you can use a product like Citristrip. This product contains more chemicals, which can strip up to five layers of paint within fifteen minutes. Before refinishing your furniture, you should protect it with plastic wrap or Saran Wrap to avoid over-spray. After applying the stripper, use a scraping tool to remove any residue from the furniture.
When stripping furniture before refinishing, you must remove any previous finish. Some finishes are difficult to remove. In these cases, stripping is the best option. If you plan to leave the furniture natural or bleach it, you’ll need to remove the finish first. Then, follow up with the refinishing process. However, remember that the process will take time and patience. So, take your time. It will be worth it in the end.
Once you’ve stripped your furniture, it’s time to sand it. Use medium-grit sandpaper to remove the remaining finish and smooth the wood. This will result in swirl marks, which will show up once you’ve stained it. You’ll also need to use a tack cloth to remove any excess grit that might have been left on the wood. If you decide to stain your furniture, this step is the most crucial.
Oil finishes have been used to refinish furniture for centuries. They are water and alcohol-resistant, durable, and flexible, but they are not as protective as some other finishes. However, oil finishes are easy to maintain. To refresh an oil finish, you can use steel wool and a cloth to buff it smooth. To repair scratches or remove water rings, you can reapply a new layer of oil.
To refinish furniture with an oil finish, it is important to use the correct oil mixture and apply several coats to get the desired matte sheen. Then, you must sand each coat to 320 grit sandpaper before applying the next one. Once you have applied the final coat, rub it with dry steel wool again to ensure a smooth finish. Proper oil finish can take several days to dry completely.
Oil finishes can be protected by applying a layer of wax. The wax provides a protective layer against minor scratches and scuff marks, and it is heat-resistant. Moreover, it also creates a water-resistant layer on top of the oiled surface. Consequently, refinishing furniture with oil finishes can be an economical way to make your home or office look great. But, be prepared to do some work!
Before you begin refinishing your furniture with oil, test it with solvents or a paint stripper to identify if the old finish has any tarnish. If the result is no tarnish, you can apply a fresh coat of oil. Once the new finish has been applied, wipe the surface dry with a clean rag. Once the finish is dry, repeat the process.
Linseed oil is another popular finish. This oil-based product is rich and requires multiple applications to achieve the desired look. Applying a thin coat of linseed oil before applying the varnish will bring out the natural beauty of wood and will provide better protection than wax. You can buy Watco, which is one of the oldest and most popular oils. It comes in clear and color variations. Just remember to soak the furniture before applying it, as the oil will give it a soft sheen.
Wipe-on varnish products
There are two types of varnish products available for refinishing wood furniture: spray-on and brushed-on. Spray-on varnishes create a thick, durable film in two to three coats. Wipe-on varnish products can be applied with a brush or a sponge. Mineral spirits and latex gloves are optional. Mineral spirits thin oil-based varnishes, but the result is the same.
The first type of wipe-on varnish is Danish oil. Danish oils are a polymerized oil compound that gives furniture a satin finish. Wipe-on varnishes are made from the same ingredients as Danish oils, but they dry faster, resulting in a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish. They are a great choice for coffee tables and desks because they can be applied in place of oil-only varnish.
These types of products are easy to apply. You can use a rag or foam brush to apply the finish. To apply them, dampen the surface thoroughly. Allow the oil-varnish blend to dry for a few minutes, then wipe it off. After 12 to 24 hours, a second coat of varnish is necessary to achieve a consistent, even finish. A third coat may be necessary for furniture that is especially distressed, or to protect a new surface from further damage.
When choosing wipe-on varnish products, you need to consider the wood’s porosity. For example, open-pored woods do not do well with wipe-on finishes. You will need to fill the pores before applying the finish. This will result in a darker color than other surfaces, but it will look great once the work is complete. However, you must be aware of the drawbacks of wipe-on finishes. The first is that wipe-on varnishes can be difficult to apply to furniture with open-pores.
Oil/varnish blends come in different forms. While some have a matte finish, others have a glossy appearance. The latter type is best for woodworkers who want to achieve a glossy finish. The reason is because the oil-based varnish is easier to apply. Some oils may have some yellowish undertones, which will give the finish a more natural look. They also offer more water resistance than conventional varnish.
If you want to refinish a piece of furniture, you can buy grain filler in different colors. However, you must make sure that the grain filler you buy has small pores so that it can absorb stain. You can use a water-based grain filler to stain unstained wood. A water-based grain filler can be stained after the excess filler is removed. It also takes stain fairly well, making it an excellent choice for refinishing furniture.
After filling the piece with grain filler, you can use a fine sandpaper to smooth it out. Different grits of sandpaper are used for different purposes, so you should start with a 120-grit sandpaper for removing varnish and paint. Once you have removed the paint, move on to a 220-grit sandpaper to smooth the wood.
Grain filler is used most often for open-grained woods. Open-grained woods have large pores that make it difficult to apply a clear finish to them. These pores will show up as texture on the surface of the wood. However, filling the grain is not strictly necessary and you can skip this step if you prefer the look. If you decide that you like the texture, it will not affect the durability of the finish.
To apply grain filler, wash the wood first with mineral spirits or naphtha. While grain filler can set up hard before wiping it off, it is best to fill small areas at a time. The filler can be easily removed by using naphtha or mineral spirits. Make sure you check the label and choose the right product. You can also check out Bob Flexner’s new book, Refinishing Furniture with Grain Filler
Depending on the surface of the wood, you can use water-based grain fillers for your refinishing project. These fillers are water-based and work best on raw, unfinished wood. They dry quickly and do not require any prep time. Although water-based fillers can change the color of the wood, they are safe and eco-friendly to use. However, they can leave some blotches and are generally best used for interior application.