Anything that is made of real wood can be refinished. Whether it be a bed frame, a kitchen table, or a piece of furniture. Some people just love working on wood projects. It’s fun. It’s a hobby. Other people make the mistake of replacing their old worn looking real wood furniture rather than refinishing it. What a shame! Refinishing is simple and can easily save you hundreds of dollars per item. Why pay almost a thousand dollars to replace your kitchen table and chair set when they become dull looking? Refinish them to give them brand new life. With today’s economy being the way it is, it just makes sense to be conservative.
So, regardless of what you’re refinishing or why, there’s are certain things you will need to get the job done.
The first thing you’ll need is a place to do your refinishing projects. You don’t want to refinish inside of your home. The process can be messy. Also, refinishing requires sanding. Sanding creates dust particles. Depending on how old the item is the old finish on it could very likely contain chemicals which could be toxic. You do not want that dust inside of your home. It won’t only make a huge mess but it could also make your family sick. Clean out a sectio0n of your garage or work shop and dedicate that space to refinishing. Install shelves to hold all of your refinishing supplies. That way whenever you have a new refinishing project you can just take it out to your workspace and everything will be there and ready.
The first step to many projects is to prepare the item for refinishing. This means covering any part of the item that you do not want damaged by the refinishing process. Generally people use painters tape, masking tape and newspaper or plastic. It’s a good idea to have a stash of each of these items.
Sanding is the most important step in refinishing. Sanding removes all of the old finish from the wood. Some projects are larger than others. For large pieces and items it is best to use an electric handheld sander. For smaller, or detailed projects it’s best to sand by hand using single pieces of sandpaper.
Sandpaper comes in different grits. Rough grit sandpaper is used first to remove all of the old finish. Fine grit sandpaper is used to create a smooth surface that is flawless. That smooth surface helps the new finish adhere and creates the beautiful blemish free satiny smooth look. Stock up on both rough grit and fine grit sandpaper You’ll want to get it for your sander, and also a couple packages of sheets of sandpaper in each grit for sanding by hand.
Rags are yet another essential item. You’ll want to have a couple of bags of rags. Clean, soft, dry cloths are used for dusting off the wood after sanding, and for staining. They also come in handy in case of accidental drips or spills.
Stain is a common finish. If you’ll be refinishing several things you may want to consider having a bunch of different color stains on hand. That way when it’s time to stain your next project you can simply go to your shelf and select the color you want to you instead of having to go to the store each time. Stain is one gallon will last you for several projects.
Foam paint brushes are needed for almost every refinishing project. A foam paint brush can be used to apply paint if you are planning to refinish using oil based or latex paint. A foam paint brush is also needed for applying polyurethane. While you’re getting the foam paint brushes it’s a good idea to grab some small paint trays too. They are cheap and will be used for both paint and poly.
Polyurethane is almost alwaysthge finishing coat when refinishing wood. It is clear and water resistant when dry. It leaves wood with a beautiful glossy surface that can be used and washed. Even if you are planning to refinish with paint it is still a good idea to aply a couple of coats of polyurethane over the paint to protect it.
A shop vac is a great thing to have in your work shop. When you project is done there will be a mess. A shop vac can easily take care of the dust from sanding without leaving particles behind like a broom will. A shop vac is a great investment for anyone who does a lot of refinishing projects.