You will agree that a well-crafted furniture piece that gets a beautiful stained finish can truly show the craftsmanship of a woodworker. This is perhaps among the reasons why it is so painful when people paint a really well-built piece of furniture. If you have apparently done this to a project and have regretted doing it, you need a lot of time and effort to properly remove paint without destroying the wood beneath it.
Luckily, if you have older, well-built pieces, you can easily restore these close to their former glory because of new wood refinishing techniques. In particular, we now have chemical wood strippers which allow you to even mask the paint on a really well-built piece and even refinish the piece with a protective finish. Once more, when you do this to your project, it will test and probably show off your skills as a craftsman.
Strip The Finish
When refinishing wood, the first thing you must do is get rid of that paint. Although you may want to try sanding it off with the help of a random orbital sander or a belt sander, it may still take a while and you may even end up sanding away parts of the wood that you’re hoping to uncover.
An even better alternative to this is using commercial, chemical-based paint stripper in removing most of the paint off. There are a few warning signs to keep in mind. First, be sure your area has a lot of ventilation when you’re working with the paint strippers because the fumes released from them are pretty overpowering and of course, unhealthy. Second, wear rubber gloves and safety glasses as added protection.
When it comes to paint strippers, you can choose between thick pastes, liquids, and gels. If you’re working on a large project with a lot of vertical surfaces, avoid liquids because they don’t cling well. Remember that whichever type of stripper you pick, patience is always the key. Work your way through small areas and apply the stripper to the wood and allow it to sit according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After the time has lapsed, scrape it off with a putty knife.
Sanding is the next part to remove paint from wood. After the wood stripper has been cleaned, allow enough time to have the project dry and get it acclimated to your environment. The newly bare material is susceptible to varying changes in humidity and temperature so let it rest for a couple of days.
Once you’re ready to start sanding, get a random orbital sander with a medium-grit sanding disk and get the rough spots on the wood. Always work with the grain to avoid sanding marks and change grits progressively.
After sanding, inspect for damages or areas or open grains that need filling. Also, look out for cracks which need with some wood putty. The next step here is to apply a good pre stain conditioner to help you in evening out the stain’s color. Pre-staining will also help you prime the wood and help you avoid getting unsightly blotches.
Finally, when you’re ready to have the project stained, pick out either a liquid or gel stain to give beautiful, vibrant color you want. To remove paint successfully is one thing but you also need to give the wood protection so use either shellac, lacquer or polyurethane to make your masterpiece last for years to come.
This is one of the things we cover in our 2 hour Furniture Repair & Refinishing Class & we are on Living Social (for a limited time) – go here to check it out: https://www.livingsocial.com/deals/649388-two-hour-furniture-refinishing-class
Until Next Time – Dan @ Wood Menders
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