Refinishing an Antique Part 2 – Apply New Finish

In the first segment in our 2-part series on refinishing an antique, we stripped the old finish off of our end table and gave it a lacquer thinner sponge bath to remove any remaining paint and varnish stripper. While things got a little messy there for a while, in the end we revealed the bare wood living under layers of old stain and varnish. Weren’t we delighted to discover the piece was made of solid cherry, and in fairly good shape, too. But the best part is still to come.

Tools

Steps

  1. Refinishing an Antique - Apply New Finish - Step 1

    If your piece is made with an open grain wood, such as oak, you will need to fill it with grain filler before sanding.

  2. Refinishing an Antique - Apply New Finish - Step 2

    Lightly sand smooth edges with an orbital sander.

  3. Refinishing an Antique - Apply New Finish - Step 3

    Sand flat, yet uneven, surfaces with a 120-grit sanding disk, followed by a 220-grit disk to remove any remaining swirl marks.

  4. Refinishing an Antique - Apply New Finish - Step 4

    Have a local woodworker replace any rotten parts of the wood.

  5. Refinishing an Antique - Apply New Finish - Step 5

    Use wood filler to fill in cracks. Wipe the excess off with a rag.

  6. Refinishing an Antique - Apply New Finish - Step 6

    Sand corners and crevices with a sanding block.

  7. Refinishing an Antique - Apply New Finish - Step 7

    Use a detail sander to get hard-to-reach areas.

  8. Refinishing an Antique - Apply New Finish - Step 8

    Wipe off all excess sand dust from the piece with a tack cloth.

  9. Refinishing an Antique - Apply New Finish - Step 9

    Apply the stain with a foam brush. Make sure your strokes flow with the grain of the wood. Let the coat sit for about 10 minutes.

  10. Refinishing an Antique - Apply New Finish - Step 10

    Wipe off the remains, first moving against the grain, then moving with the grain.

  11. Refinishing an Antique - Apply New Finish - Step 11

    Place the furniture on it’s side and stain the repeat step ten with the rest of the sides. If you want the color to be darker, apply another coat of stain to the entire piece.

  12. Refinishing an Antique - Apply New Finish - Step 12

    Apply a wood finish with a natural bristle brush. Allow it to dry and add more coats according to manufacturer’s instructions.


Read Video Transcript

In the first segment in our 2-part series on refinishing an antique, we stripped the old finish off of our end table and gave it a lacquer thinner sponge bath to remove any remaining paint and varnish stripper. While things got a little messy there for a while, in the end we revealed the bare wood living under layers of old stain and varnish. Weren’t we delighted to discover the piece was made of solid cherry, and in fairly good shape, too. But the best part is still to come.

Today we’re going to sand our end table, concentrating on some of the problem areas we uncovered after stripping the piece. Then we’re going to apply our stain, followed by a coat of lacquer to protect the piece from every day wear and tear. So let’s get started.

Since our table is made of solid wood that has a fairly tight grain pattern, we won’t need to fill the grain before sanding. However, if it were made of an open grain wood, like this piece of oak, we would need to fill it with grain filler before sanding.

Lucky for us, the top of our piece is also fairly smooth and in good shape. But we’re still going to use our random orbit sander and a 220-grit sanding disk and give it a good sanding. This will be all the top requires. Unfortunately, the legs and the bottom stretcher shelf are a different story. To sand the legs, we’ll start with a 120-grit sanding disk, followed by a 220-grit disk to remove any remaining swirl marks resulting from the first course of sanding.

When sanding the stain on the bottom stretcher shelf, we quickly discovered that the area was rotten and beyond repair. So we took it to a local woodworker to have a new piece milled and installed. As you can see, he did a nice job, and even replaced the cleats that support the shelf underneath.

While it slowed us down for a few days, now we’re ready to proceed. Before our final sanding, first we’ll fill several cracks and blemishes. For problem areas like this crack, we’re going to use this wood filler. Just squeeze it into the crack and wipe the excess off with a rag.

For our final sanding we’ll use the random orbit sander with a 220-grit sanding disk. To get into some of these crevices on the side, we’ll have to sand by hand, using the edge of this sanding sponge, which fits nicely into the grooves. For other areas that are hard to reach, we’ll use our detail sander with its triangular sanding pads. For more information on using various power sanders, see our video: “Portable Power Sander Workshop.”

Now that we’re finished sanding, we’ll remove all the sanding dust with this tack cloth to ensure that the piece is completely dust-free. You can see how well this tack cloth works.

That should just about do it for sanding this piece. Now comes the part we’ve been anxiously waiting for … staining.

While the natural color of this aged cherry could actually stand on its own with just an oil coating, we’re going to apply a light colored oil-base stain to further enhance its natural beauty and give it a rich finish. This will also help tie in the repaired stretcher shelf with the rest of the piece. Most manufacturers have color charts that can help guide you through the color selection process. Just remember that you can always go darker by adding additional coats of stain. It’s much harder to lighten a stain that’s too dark. For more information on the different types of stains, see our frequently asked questions for this video.

To apply our stain, we’re going to use this foam brush designed specifically for applying stain. We’ll apply the stain in the direction of the wood grain giving it a liberal coat. First we’ll do the top, letting the stain sit on the piece for approximately 10 minutes. We’ll also do the top of the stretcher shelf while the table is sitting upright. Then we’ll wipe it off with a soft cloth, first wiping against the grain … then with the grain. When finished, we’ll turn the table on end and do the sides of the legs that face up. This will allow the stain to sit on a horizontal surface without running off. Give it a wipe, then turn the table on end and do the other two sides of the legs.

Now comes the first decision we’ll have to make. If we wanted to further darken the piece, we’d repeat the same process as before. However, I think in our case, one coat will be just fine.

Now comes another decision we need to make. According to the manufacturer’s recommendations, a finish coat should be applied over the stain to offer added protection to the finish. Since our table will be used as a night stand, it will probably end up taking some abuse, which is why we’re going to apply a coat of lacquer after the piece has had a chance to dry for at least 12 hours. We could also protect the piece using polyurethane. However, we don’t want to give it a shiny finish coat, which is typical with polyurethanes. This satin brushing lacquer will look fantastic when we’re finished.

We’ll apply the lacquer finish coat with this natural bristle brush that is specifically made for applying oil base stains and finish coats. This brush has a stubby little handle that is easy to control. While most lacquer finishes require sanding between coats, this particular type does not. It is also has a 30-minute dry time, which is great since we will be applying two or three thin coats to achieve the desired finish.

There you have it. We couldn’t be more pleased with how this project turned out. And every time we look at it we’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that we gave this old antique a brand new lease on life, just by giving it a little DIY TLC.

Close Transcript

Send to Kindle


Read more from: How-To Videos > Painting & Decor

Back to top

2 responses to “Refinishing an Antique Part 2 – Apply New Finish”

  1. Bridepop crunched the numbers and broke down weddings by metro cost, engagem Louis Vuitton Bags ent ring/wedding dress Louis Vuitton for sale cost,Louis Vuitton Bags, who pays for the wedding, and more in a blog here:statistics and graphic via Bridepop, check out the article here to see the larger imageSome things to consid Louis Vuitton 2015 Bags er: Throw any add

  2. Sol says:

    Antiques are considered valuable items that we can keep for life and it is only rightful that we find ways to preserve them as much as we can. Apply the tips listed above and the ones posted at BuyEssayClub reviews, which are really helpful and handy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current month ye@r day *