Step-by-Step Guide to Refinishing Wood Furniture

Refinishing wood furniture can bring new life to old pieces, enhancing their beauty and extending their lifespan. Follow these steps to refinish your wood furniture like a pro.

Boho Living Room. Incorporated green wall of living grass, completed with rustic wood furniture, colorful Moroccan-style rugs and eclectic psychedelic wall tapestries

Step 1: Choose Your Workspace

Set up a well-ventilated workspace, ideally outdoors or in a garage with the doors open. Lay down a drop cloth to protect the floor from dust and stains.

Step 2: Gather Your Supplies

Collect all the necessary supplies, including sandpaper (various grits), a sanding block or electric sander, wood stain or paint, brushes, rags, and a clear finish. For sanding, the BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander is a versatile tool that makes the job easier and more efficient.

BLACK+DECKER Orbital Sander, 5 Inch, 2.0 Amp, 12000...
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE ORBIT SANDER - 2.0 Amp corded electric random orbit sander for a swirl-free finish
  • HIGH EFFICIENCY - Delivers 12000 OPM (orbits per minute) to quickly sand material
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & COMPACT - Fits in tight spaces for more versatile sanding

Step 3: Clean the Furniture

Clean the piece thoroughly to remove dirt, grime, and old polish. Use a mixture of mild soap and water, then dry the furniture completely with a clean cloth.

Step 4: Remove Old Finish

Use a paint stripper or sandpaper to remove the old finish. If using a paint stripper, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If sanding, start with a coarse grit (60-80) to remove the finish, then move to a medium grit (120-150) to smooth the surface.

Step 5: Repair Any Damage

Inspect the furniture for any damage such as cracks, holes, or loose joints. Use wood filler to fill in cracks and holes, and sand smooth once it’s dry. Tighten any loose joints with wood glue and clamps.

Step 6: Sand the Surface

Sand the entire piece with fine-grit sandpaper (220) to smooth the surface and prepare it for staining or painting. Always sand in the direction of the wood grain to avoid scratches.

Step 7: Apply the Stain or Paint

Apply your chosen wood stain or paint with a brush or rag. Work in the direction of the wood grain, and apply evenly. Let the first coat dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then apply additional coats if necessary for a deeper color or better coverage.

Step 8: Seal the Finish

Once the stain or paint is completely dry, apply a clear finish to protect the wood and enhance its appearance. Use a polyurethane or varnish, applying thin, even coats with a brush. The Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish is an excellent choice for a durable, clear protective layer.

qt Minwax 63333 Clear Polycrylic Water-Based Protective...
  • Protects and adds beauty to interior wood surfaces including woodwork, furniture, doors and cabinets
  • Crystal clear finish is ideal for use over light woods like maple, ash and birch as well as over...
  • Dries quickly

Boho Living room. Wide Sunlit space featuring an extensive grass wall installation, whitewashed wooden furniture, colorful kilim rug, and an oversized dream catcher hanging decor.

Step 9: Reassemble and Enjoy

After the final coat of finish has dried, reassemble any parts that were removed, such as drawers or hardware. Your refinished wood furniture is now ready to be enjoyed!

Disclosure: This website contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you click on a link and make a purchase, helping to support the creation and maintenance of this site.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *