• In this video, wood finishing expert Bruce Johnson shares tips for refinishing new and old furniture.

    Steps:
    1. On bare wood, lightly sand the surface with 150-grit sandpaper to remove nicks, scratches, and to open up the pores of the wood grain.
    2. Wipe off the sanding dust with a tack cloth.
    3. Brush on wood conditioner prior to staining. Allow the conditioner to dry for 15 minutes.
    4. Put on rubber gloves and open a can of oil-based penetrating stain. Stir the stain well, then use a clean cloth to rub the stain into the wood in a circular motion.
    5. Wipe off the excess stain using a clean cloth. Allow the stain to dry 6 to 8 hours.
    6. Brush a coat of polyurethane varnish onto the surface, then finish up with long, light brush strokes to remove bubbles and lap marks.
    7. On an old furniture piece, clean the surface with a soft cloth dampened with commercial wood cleaner.
    8. To remove an old finish, use a steel wool pad to scrub antique refinisher into the surface.
    9. Wipe off the old, dissolved finish with a clean, soft cloth.
    10. Protect the stripped surface with a coat of stain polyurethane.
    • 2 to 4 hours to finish an average-size new piece of wood furniture
    • $20-50 to finish an average-size new piece of wood furniture
    • Difficulty: Easy
      it's important not to skip any steps, but finishing wood is simple and straightforward
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      Tools List

      • one-and-a-half inch paintbrush
        Paintbrushes, for applying polyurethane
      • rubber gloves
        Rubber gloves, used to keep hands clean

      Shopping List

      1. 150-grit sandpaper to remove nicks, scratches, and to open up the wood grain

      2. Tack cloth, used to wipe off sanding dust

      3. Wood conditioner, used to prep bare wood prior to staining4. Oil-based wood stain, used to color bare wood surfaces

      5. Clean cotton cloths, used to wipe on finishes

      6. Commercial wood cleaner, used to clean old, dirty finishes

      7. Antique wood refinisher, for stripping off old finishes