Refinishing old wood furniture is one of my favorite hobbies but I have made every single mistake in the book with it. And it's a big book. Furniture refinishing requires patience...
... patience and more patience. And a lot of hard grunt work. Here are some of my worst mistakes. The biggest one is I've made is to do a crappy stripping job. You have to strip paint and it's messy and tedious. You can sometimes just sand all of it, but unless it's small or you have an electric sander, you need a stripper.
Citristrip is nontoxic but you need gloves and you need to cover and protect everything around you. If a fleck of that stuff gets on anything else, it'll eat it away. Now if you're not re-staining but just planning to paint the furniture, you don't need to strip it. You probably don't even need to sand it.
My other big mistake is underestimating the time it takes to do a good refinishing job. I buy or see something I want to redo and I'm like oh yeah I can do that in a couple hours.
And then it'll end up taking a day at least, especially with cleanup and prep work. Refinishing is never quick and easy.
You'll need these and more
Electric sanders are quick and easy
No need to strip if you're painting
Sandpaper grain matters
Stripping is messy messy work
Staining is the fun part
A paint scraper if you're stripping
“Add 3 hours to however long you think it'll take you.”
And staining can really upgrade it
Email this post. * Required
This PASHpost story has been shared with John Smith.