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Floyd J. Rosini
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Furniture Finishing Advice


Select from the item box below to review questions and tips for finishing furniture.

 
Finishing Furniture Tips & Advice
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Furniture Refinishing vs Reconditioning

Refinishing Furniture

  • Stripping: After all the necessary repairs are completed strip the piece down to the raw wood. When refinishing, stripping is one of the most important phases. Many tasks will follow, but this phase alone can determine the outcome of your project. If you don't feel up to it, there are many restoration shops that will do just the stripping for you.

  • Sanding: The previous phase (stripping) will determine the amount of sanding that needs to be done. Usually a light sanding with 120 or 240 garnite paper is all you'll need. Sanding is done by hand, always going in the direction of the grain. For pieces being stripped because of stains or burn marks, this could be an opportunity to get those out via sanding or bleaching.

  • Final Prep Work: Before going any further take time to go over your project for any final repairs and prep work. This may include filling holes and glueing small cracks or loose veneer that may have been overlooked before stripping.

  • Staining: Apply your chosen stain with a cloth and wipe off the excess. Wipe off in the direction of the grain (no circles) and try not to leave stop marks (lift your rag while still in motion). This may be a good time to start the process of any touch up.

  • Finishing: Shellac and oil can be applied with a cloth. Varnish and paints are usually done with a brush. Laquer is sprayed. A rub out (sanding with silicone carbine paper) is usually done in between every 3 to 4 coats.

  • Rub out: For a hand rubbed finish, shellac and laquer finishes can be rubbed with 320 silicone carbide paper, followed by a rub with 0000 steel wool.

  • Waxing: Add extra protection to your refinished project and make for easy cleaning by applying a good colored furniture wax. Buff to desired sheen.

Reconditioning Furniture

  • Cleaning & Prep: After all necessary repairs are completed thoroughly clean the piece with gummed turpentine or a cleaner like Rosini's Red 1. 0000 steel wool can be used with either to help loosen old wax and grime.

  • Scuff the surface: Rub the existing finish with either 240 or 320 grit silicone carbide paper to ensure a good bond for application of fresh stain and finish.

  • Staining: Apply a light stain with a cloth and wipe off the excess. Wipe off in the direction of the grain (no circles) and try not to leave stop marks (lift your rag while still in motion). This may be a good time to start the process of any touch up.

  • Finishing: Apply a couple fresh coats of your chosen finish (make sure it's compatible with the existing finish).

  • Rub out: Scuff with 320 or 400 silicone carbide paper, followed by a light rub with 0000 steel wool.

  • Waxing: Add extra protection to your refinished project and make for easy cleaning by applying a good colored furniture wax. Buff to desired sheen.

Note
In many cases the end result of these two techniques can look the same. However when reconditioning, the fresh finish will only last as long as the existing finish below it. If your existing finish is peeling or badly checked, it will eventually show through and refinishing may be the best choice.



Purchase These Products:
Rosini's Red 1 Concentrated Biodegradable Cleaner
Liberon Finishing Oil
Liberon Steel Wool Pads & Rolls








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