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Hidden Treasures: Refinish it, Don’t Throw it Away!

By | r June 15, 2009
B DIY Projects, Home Decor

By Larry Hack, Blinds.com Chief Information Officer and Guest Blogger

Do you have an old piece of furniture in your house covered in dark,
scratched up varnish? Or maybe a piece with layers of old paint on it? Well if
you’re thinking of throwing it way, consider refinishing it instead. It can be
easier than you think and you can save a lot of money over replacing it.

The process involves removing the old paint or varnish, staining
(optional) and applying one or more protective coats of finish.

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The remover should remove the paint or varnish without damaging the
wood. Many removers use an acid base which raises the grain of the wood,
requiring you to spend lots of time sanding. Not how you want to spend your
time. Acid-based removers will also damage the
patina, which is the natural coloring from the aging of the wood.

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Many products combine the stain and finish. I prefer to get the color I
want first, matching the color to another piece of furniture or trim in the
house, and then applying a finish. Stains are either opaque or translucent.
Opaque stains are thicker and mask imperfections in the wood; however, they can
also cover up the grain somewhat. Translucent stains are thinner and allow the natural
wood to shine through.

There are many different types of finishes available; varnish, lacquer,
shellac, oils, varnish/oil combination. These different finishes provide
different looks and levels of protection.

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Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area when working with any of these
chemicals.

It can be a lot of fun to take on a refinishing project. It is very
rewarding to be able to display it afterwards. It may even become a
conversation piece.

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