HOW TO REFINISH FURNITURE
Learn how to finish furniture easier by avoiding stripping. We tell you how to clean, repair and restore old worn finishes without messy chemical strippers.
Stripping furniture is a messy, time-consuming process, and sometimes the results aren´t as great as you had hoped. Fortunately, you don't always have to resort to stripping to restore your furniture to its original luster.
Clean it up
A thourgh cleaning is an important first step in any furniture refinishing renewal project. Removing decades of dirt and grime often restores much of the original luster. Dip a sponge into the solution with soap and water, wring it out, and use it to gently scrub the surface. A paintbrush works great for cleaning carvings and molding. Dry it with a clean towel.
Fix white rings
White rings can be easy to get rid of, or they can be a real nightmare. First, slather the ring with petroleum jelly and let it sit overnight. The oil from petroleum jelly will often penetrate the finish and remove the ring or at least make it less visible.
Replace missing wood: Apply epoxi
If you discover missing veneer, chipped wood or a damaged molding, you can fix it easily with epoxy putty. When it's hardened, the epoxy is light colored and about the density of wood. You can shape, sand and stain it like wood too, so it blends right in. You must follow the epoxy fabricant instructions to fomr it and apply in the right way.
After the epoxy hardenes completely, which usually takes a few hours, you can sand and stain the repair. Blend the repair into the sorrounding veneer by painting or gel stain to match the color and pattern of the existing grain.
Restore color with gel stain
Is is amazin what a coat of gel stain can do to restore a tired-looking piece of furniture. The cool part is that you don't need to strip the old finish for this to work. If the finish of a furniture is worn and faded, you can load a soft cloth with dark gel stain and work into the surface and the wipe it off with a clean cloth. Of course gel stain won't eliminate dark water stains or cover bad defect, but it will hide fine scratches and color in areas where the finish has worn away.
Fill small craks
If you find nail holes or tiny cracks after applying the final finish, fill them with colored wax fill sticks, wax repair sticks or fill pencils.
Renew the luster with wipe-on finish
The final step in yuur restoration project is to wipe on a coat of finsh. After you clean your furniture piece and do any necessary repairs and stain touch-up, wiping on a coat of finish will restore the sheen and protect the surface.
One coat is usually all you need to rejuvenate an existing finish. To apply wipe-on finish, first put some on a clean rag. Apply it in a swirling motion like you would with car wax. Then wipe off excess finish going in the direction of the grain. Let the finish dry overnight and youl'll be ready to proudly display your furniture restoration project.