How To: Restoring Furniture
Refinishing furniture will help you retrieve and revive household items you thought were unusable. Fix It Up! will show you how to strip, stain and paint furniture.
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Begin by removing any hardware, such as drawer handles. Use a paintbrush to apply stripper to the entire surface. Once covered, allow stripper to work, usually around 24 hours. You may need to apply a second coat. Once you are ready to remove the stripper, be sure it is completely dry.
Scrape off stripper with a plastic scraper that will not damage the wood surface. You may want to apply a mist of paint remover wash to soften the stripper. Use a stiff-bristled brush to remove stripper from cracks and crevices. Continue to clean the furniture until all stripper is removed. Apply the paint remover wash over entire area to remove any residue. Once the surface is dry, use a palm sander and 120-grit sandpaper to remove any imperfections. Wipe away dust with a clean cloth.
Using a lint-free cloth, dip in stain and wipe onto wood surface. Follow the grain and rub until the color is uniform. Remember to rub hard for a lighter color and softly for a darker color. Once dry, use a paintbrush to apply a coat of polyurethane. Once the first coat is dry and clear, give the surface a light sanding and apply a second coat of polyurethane. Once that is dry, you are done. This only costs around $40, but can take up to three days for drying time.
Improving Wrought Iron Furniture
Remove any peeling paint and trouble spots with a wire wheel attachment on a drill. Remove mildew with a mild bleach and water solution and a rag. Remove rust by applying a rust remover and allowing to dry. A wire brush can help in removing rust. Apply spray primer in a well-ventilated area. This will coat bare metal areas and seal any possible rust remaining on the chair.
Apply two light coats of spray paint. Always read manufacturer suggestions for any paint application tips. Once the paint has dried, you are done. A project like this only costs around $15 and takes about three hours, but up to 48 hours to dry.
Jodi McRaney Rush recycles glass into this frosted-glass votive candleholder.