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Refinishing wood furniture can be a remarkable and affordable way to transform old or worn-out pieces into new life. Whether you wish to refurbish an ancient heirloom or a thrift store piece to reflect the general style of your home, refinishing your furniture can transform the appearance of your room. At Design Furniture, we will walk you through every step of refinishing your wood furniture in this informative post, from initial preparation to final finish.

Refinish Wood Furniture

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

  • Safety gear such as gloves, safety gloves, and a mask
  • Drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect your workspace
  • Screwdrivers or pliers if needed for disassembly
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint strippers if you need to remove old paint or finish
  • Paintbrushes or foam brushes
  • Wood stain or paint to choose the color or finish you desire
  • Varnish, polyethylene, or a clear finish of your choice
  • Rags or lint-free cloths
  • Tack cloth for removing dust and debris
  • Wood filler for repairing cracks, holes, and dents
  • Putty knife or scraper
  • Clean water and a bucket for cleanup

Step 2: Prepare Your Workspace

Set up a good workspace and well-ventilated area such as an outdoor space. To shield the floor from spills and splashes, cover the area with some drop cloths or plastic sheeting. If you intend to use power tools when refinishing, make sure you have access to the power source.

Step 3: Safety First

Wear safety gloves, safety goggles, and a mask to protect yourself from any chemicals, dust, and smoke.

Step 4: Disassembly

Disassemble your furniture for a more manageable refinishing process, if it has removable parts like armrests, handles, or drawers. Take a picture or label them to remember how they fit back.

Step 5: Furniture Cleaning

Start by removing any dust, dirt, or debris from the furniture’s surface. A clean damp cloth can be used to sweep the furniture’s pieces.

Step 6: Removing Paint Or Finish

Follow these steps, if the furniture has old paint or finish that you have to remove:

  • Cover the wood furniture’s surface with a layer of paint stripper. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the product you are using.
  • This stripper will cause the old paint or finish to make bubbles. The process of bubbling can take 15 to a few hours. It will depend on the thickness of the finish or old paint.
  • Use a scraper or putty knife to remove the bubbles of old finish and paint. Be careful while doing it not to damage the wood. Repeat the process until all the old paint or finish is removed.
  • After scraping, clean the furniture with mineral spirit to remove any dirt.

Step 7: Sanding

Sanding is an important step in refinishing furniture as it prepares a smooth and even surface for staining and painting.

  • Fill your furniture with good filler, if it has any imperfections like dent, hole, or scratches. Let them dry after sanding.
  • Now make sure that you correctly sand the surface to protect your furniture from uneven painting or staining.
  • Use a damp clean cloth to remove all the sanding dust from your piece of furniture.

Step 8: Staining Or Painting

You can choose to stain or paint your furniture. The steps for both alternatives are as follows:


  • Choose a wood color that complements the scheme you want to attract attention to the wood’s natural texture.
  • It is more affordable to apply the stain consistently with a lint-free cloth. Let it sit for a bit so that it can enter the wood.
  • Use a clean cloth to remove any other stains. To get the shade you want, modify the timing since the longer you leave the stain, the darker will be the result.
  • You can apply more coats of stain to get a better richer color.
  • Allow the colored wood to dry for at least 24 hours or as recommended by the stain maker.


  • Choose a paint shade or color first that can complement the overall decor of your space.
  • Consider using a primer layer first if your furniture has a very dark or glossy finish or if you are switching from dark to light paint. Observe the manufacturer’s directions for the primer.
  • Apply an even coat of paint in the direction of the wood grain by using a paintbrush or foam brush. Let it completely dry between coats.

Step 9: Apply a Protective Finish

To shield your newly refinished furniture and give it a polished look, apply varnish or polyethylene. Follow these steps:

  • Select the appropriate finish look you want to achieve and the level of durability to benefit from it.
  • Use a clean brush to apply the finish and follow the grain patterns to finish evenly. Do not overbrush your piece of furniture to prevent lines.
  • Let the first coat of applied finish dry as per the manufacturer’s requirement.
  • After drying the first coat, lightly sand the furniture with a fine-grit sandpaper. Apply additional coats if necessary. Allow each coat to dry properly and sand between other coats.

Step 10: Reassemble And Final Touch

Once the parts of the furniture are completely dry and refinished, reassemble every part of the furniture to its place. Inspect your work for a whole piece and give a final touch-up if required.

Step 11: Clean Up

By following the local regulations, dispose of your used paintbrushes and cloth properly. After that, clean your tools and workspace completely.

Step 12: Enjoy Your Refinished Furniture

After all the hard work you have done, you can now freely enjoy your refinished wood furniture. It looks amazing how some Greeze and creativity can turn your old piece into a new one.

Winding Up

Refinishing your wood furniture is an adaptable option that can save you money rather than purchasing a new one. You can enhance the overall space with the right materials, techniques, and a little creativity. Your furniture can turn your room into something that can match your style and decor perfectly.

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