How to Refinish Wood Furniture

Hello, my furniture loving friends! Its Do from Do Dodson Designs!

So, what do you need to know about refinishing wood furniture? Everything!

Today I’m sharing my tips, tricks, and step by step process on refinishing to help you take the guesswork out of it.

*This tutorial is based on using oil-based products only.

Materials List:

  • No Pain Gel Stain Walnut (oil-based Dixie Belle) | Applicator Pad
  • Chip Brush | Wood Sander or Sand Paper
  • Varnish Stripper | Plastic Scraper | Mineral Spirits
  • Superfine steel wool | Denatured Alcohol
  • Spray Bottle (for denatured alcohol and water 50/50 (to clean after sanding)

How To:

To paint or not to paint? That is the question. Well, no question here with this mid-century modern dresser. No way would I ever paint wood this beautiful.

For this project, I used a 2 minutes gel stripper (best used outdoors due to the strong chemical smell). Get more information on my blog here!

FAQ: Refinishing Wood Furniture

  1. What color of stain do I use? That is totally up to you but remember, different species of wood absorb stains differently. For this reason, you will want to test the color you chose on a hidden spot first.
  2. How long is the stain left on before wiping it back? When using an oil-based gel stain, apply it liberally and wipe it back shortly after applying. You don’t want it to dry out before removing the excess. After the gel stain is dried, you can apply a second coat to darken and enrich the color if desired.

Use a cotton staining pad and wipe on the gel stain in a circular motion. You want to be sure to really get that stain into the wood grain. Afterward, use a soft cotton cloth to wipe back any excess stain in the direction of the wood grain to prevent streaking.

Allow your finish to dry a minimum of 24 hours. Humidity and temperature is always a factor so being in a controlled environment is best. You can apply a second coat of the gel stain if you want a darker color.

To read more tutorials, head to Do Dodson Designs here!

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