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At Kings Acres we specialize in providing heirloom quality furniture to Lancaster County and beyond. The furniture we sell is built to last, and ages beautifully as it is passed down from generation to generation. As hardwood furniture ages there may come a time when you need to refinish the piece to remove scratches or gouges made by house guests or furry friends. Some customers may also refinish their hardwood furniture to match a new home or design style. Today we are going to go over some furniture repair best practices, and how to completely refinish a piece of furniture if you think that is best for you. 

How to Fix Scratches in Hardwood Furniture

If your hardwood furniture has been scratched and you would like to keep the same finish, you may be able to fix it without removing or stripping the existing finish. To fix small scratches we recommend sanding the damaged areas with extra-fine steel wool. Once that is finished, you will need to make a trip to your local hardware store for an oil based furniture polish, matching the color to your stain as best you can. Once the polish is applied you may need to re-sand with steel wool to rub it in, or lighten the color. Finally, apply a clear coat to seal in the repair. 

How to Remove Furniture Wax

The first step in refinishing or restoring a piece of hardwood furniture is removing the original wax or finish. If there is no damage to the wood itself but the wax finish is bubbling or becoming bumpy, you don’t need to fully strip the finish. In this case, simply remove the old wax using a wax and polish remover and a soft rag. Once you have removed the wax you can apply more wax to protect your furniture. 

How to Refinish a Piece of Furniture

If you decide that your existing furniture finish doesn’t match your new home or style, you may want to look into completely refinishing your hardwood furniture. This is also a great option for family heirlooms, as it maintains the original character of the furniture and brings new life into family pieces. Let’s take a look at the best way to refinish a piece of hardwood furniture. 

How to Strip Furniture Finish

The first step in refinishing hardwood furniture is stripping the finish. Stripping a piece of hardwood furniture removes almost all of the previous finish and provides you a blank canvas to work with. The first step to this process is applying a finish stripper and letting it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, use a scraper to remove as much of the finish as possible. A lot of the steps to stripping can vary depending on the piece, we’ve provided some quick tips below. 

  • Strip in zones for large pieces of furniture.
  • Use a cardboard box to remove the finish and stripper from your scraper.
  • DON’T strip furniture you plan on painting. To paint you can simply use a fine grit sandpaper to rough up the finish and remove small bumps and imperfections, then apply the paint.

Clean and Sand the Surface

Once you have stripped the furniture, use a hand sander to remove the remnants of the finish. We suggest doing this step with a 120 grit sandpaper. Once you see the bare wood, use a finer grit sandpaper to smooth the surface and ensure it is even. When sanding is finished clean off the sawdust with a shop vacuum or dust brush. You can also use a slightly damp microfiber cloth. 

Apply the Stain

The next step is applying your new stain! To apply your stain we recommend using a staining pad and apply it with the grain in long strokes. Then, wipe away excess stain with a clean cloth for an even finish. Apply one coat then let the stain dry for a few hours. If you like the color you’re ready for the next step, but if you want the stain darker repeat the same process until you are satisfied. 

Finish with a Clear Coat

Now that your stain has been applied it’s time for the last step, applying the clear coat! We recommend applying one coat and allowing it to dry, then sanding that coat with a fine grit sandpaper. Blow or vacuum away the dust, and apply a second coat. 

The first step in refinishing a piece of hardwood furniture, really, is purchasing a piece of furniture worth refinishing! Browse our hardwood dining, bedroom, and office furniture, or contact us for more information!