Do not pass by those wooden antiques at yard sales and flea markets just because they look dingy. Refinishing a wood antique is a relatively easy process that gives the piece a new life. Part 1 of this project guide explains how to remove the existing finish and prepare the piece for sanding and the application of a new finish.
You will need:
• Antique furniture
• Steel wool
• Scraping tools
• Scouring sponge
• Natural bristle paint brush
• Paint or lacquer thinner
• Varnish and paint remover
• Drop cloth
• Disposable pans
• Safety goggles
• Chemical resistant gloves
Step 1: Select a well-ventilated area, such as a garage, for the project area.
Step 2: Spread the drop cloth on the floor of the work area and cover the cloth with newspapers.
Step 3: Put on the safety goggles and chemical resistant gloves. Pour the paint thinner into a disposable pan and use the scouring sponge and paint thinner to clean the piece. Dry the furniture with a clean towel.
Step 4: Spray the antique with the varnish and paint remover. Spread the liquid into crevices with the paintbrush. Allow the remover to remain on the piece for the time recommended by the manufacturer instructions.
Step 5: Use a dull-ended scraper to begin scraping the old varnish off the piece. Put the removed varnish into a disposable pan.
Step 6: Spray detailed areas of the piece with the varnish and paint remover. Use the steel wool to scrub these and other areas where varnish remains. Repeat until all varnish has been removed from the piece.
Step 7: Clean the piece with the lacquer or paint thinner and steel wool. This neutralizes and removes any varnish remover that remained on the piece after Step 6. It also keeps wood from rising.
Step 8: Adhere to municipal guidelines to dispose of used steel wool, scrubbing sponges, rags soaked with chemicals, and used paintbrushes.
Step 9: Allow 24 hours for the antique to dry.