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


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.