Often someone will have a beautiful piece of wood furniture in their home and not even realize it. It might be a worn out, tattered piece of wood furniture  or perhaps one with a really old or really bad paint job (chipped, cracked or peeling) but with a little time and elbow grease the wood can be restored to its original beauty. 

Wood finishCredit: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/takatuka

Something to consider when you are deciding whether or not to refinish wood furniture items is where it will be used. Though you could simply paint over the existing finish a natural wood look is one that goes with nearly any room decor. Not to mention that there is little more visually appealing than a beautiful and natural wood finish. 

One last thing to keep in mind is something that is aimed at  those of you unsure if you want to learn how to refinish wood furniture and especially for those of you looking for used or cheap furniture. You can find a used furniture item, often greatly discounted if its appearance is less than desireable, put in a little time and that ugly duckling can turn out to be a beautiful swan with just  the  few simple steps below. Imagine all the not so "pretty" items you can find in free sites and the classifieds - now imagine how much money you could save if you knew how to turn someone else's junk into your treasure!

Here are the steps you need to take in order to learn how to refinish wood furniture:

Things You Will Need:

varnish remover





paint brush

roll of plastic (optional)

putty knife

face mask

Supplies to refinish - You will need to gather some things needed to refinish the old worn out piece of wood furniture. Refinishing items include: varnish remover, sander, sandpaper, wood stain, varnish, paint brush, roll of plastic, putty knife.

Prepare the work area- Start by laying down plastic to keep all the chemicals off the floor where you will refinish your project. This will make for easy clean up later.
Ensure you have all the listed supplies to refinish close by.

When you refinish wood furniture you want to be sure the area you are working in is well ventilated as some of the chemicals you will be using have a strong odor.

Strip old varnish- apply varnish remover to the wood table, or other wooden furniture piece, with a brush. Be sure you cover the entire surface you intend to strip. Wait a few minutes for the remover to start working. Use your putty knife to scrape the old varnish off. Then wipe clean with a clean rag.

Sanding- Sand the entire surface of the furniture you are refinishing. Pay special attention to the cracks and crevices as old varnish has a tendency to hide in these areas.

Keep in mind that the more time spent on this step the better your results. Prep work is key to a beautifully refinished piece of furniture.

Staining- Take an old rag or sponge and apply chosen stain to your project. Again, you will want to pay special attention to the cracks and crevices and be sure you leave no drips or puddles behind. Especially when you are trying to refinish old furniture, you will want to go over the whole project a few times.

Varnish- Apply varnish with a paint brush evenly over entire surface. Allow to dry. Lightly sand with very fine grade sandpaper. Repeat several times until you have the desired look.

The last application applied when you refinish furniture should not be sanded. You have now created a new, beautiful looking piece of furniture.


Tips:  Do your best to clean up before taking the steps and applying your varnish. You don't want wood dust floating around the room to get snagged in the varnish which will give it a lumpy finish as opposed to the sleek look you want. 

Always make sure the room you are in is well ventilated and that if available you wear a mask (easily found at most hardware stores) . The fumes can be overpowering and toxic and you don't want to breath in the sawdust that will be kicked up during sanding.