Unfinished furniture is one of the best bargains you can get. Besides saving
the amount of the cost of finishing your unfinished furniture, you quite often
can get better, unblemished furniture when it sits in all of its raw glory for
you to see its surface.|
Many very expensive pieces of finished furniture have repairs to their surfaces, big gouges that have been repaired and bad fitting joints that have been filled to name just a couple. The reason for the swirled brush strokes and fly specks in a modern day finish are to allow for and hide boo boos.
I would suggest that you not look for any repaired blemishes. If you haven't noticed them before, you won't notice them now, but if you go looking and find them, then every time you look at the piece of furniture they will stand out like a sore thumb.
Prepare Unfinished Furniture
A very handy tool for surface preparation of unfinished furniture is a pair of cotton gloves, the kind you can get for 79 cents or so that you use for gardening. They'll save you some slivers and show you where you need more preparation.
There are a couple of electric sanders that are good for unfinished furniture,
but whatever you do, don't use a belt sander. The good ones are, Finishing sanders, and orbital sanders . The finishing sander is almost as safe as hand sanding, but if you get off
of flat surfaces with the random orbit, the sandpaper can go into random orbit. See my experience with sanding edges with a random orbit on the Sanding page.
Sanding for Staining
The success of your staining job is directly related to your sanding job. If the sanding is uneven, then the stain will be uneven too. Stain is
absorbed more in less smooth areas.
It's best to practice on a piece of scrap wood of the same type as what your unfinished furniture is made of so you can tell what the exact end color will be.
Somewhere along the way someone has come up with the notion that you should seal the wood before you stain. If you want to save yourself some disappointment, don't seal before you stain. If you seal the wood before you stain, then there is nothing for the stain to soak into and you end up with a smeary unstained appearance.
Sealing after staining is a very good idea, some stains will bleed through a
finish giving an undesirable appearance and it is a good idea to seal them in.
Besides, using a sanding sealer, you can sand it with a very fine sandpaper to
give a very good, very smooth surface to apply the final finish to.
Clear Finish OnlySkip the staining step, but do use the sanding sealer step in order to get the smoothest final finish possible. See Final Finish for more information.
Painting Unfinished Furniture
If you plan to paint unfinished furniture it's a good idea to go through all
the steps as though you were going to put a clear finish on it, up to and
including the sanding sealer. You can get a lot smoother paint job if you
seal and sand the sealer before you paint.
We're proud to be an affiliate of Blick Art Materials
free woodworkers catalogs
furniture cleaning basic
furniture refinishing basic
remove white rings or spots
furniture stripping basic
surface preparation basic
tung oil finish
furniture restoration procedure
wood finish comparison