Grandma's cedar chest

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  #1  
Old 09-18-03, 06:59 AM
Shoffman67
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Grandma's cedar chest

I have just started to refinish my grandmothers cedar chest and would like to know if there is a was of lightening the wood so I can coordinate it with my other furniture. After taking off the varnish with Rock Miracle paint and varnish remover I have found the wood to be very dark. I guess it is cedar on the outside too, not sure. It is a Lane Chest and was a dark color. I have all honey oak in my home and would like it to be that color but if not possible I will stain it dark again. Either way what do I use on it? What is the difference between stain and poly and varnish.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-18-03, 03:14 PM
me91466
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Re: Grandma's cedar chest

Stain brings out the grain of the wood at the same time as to darken the wood.

Poly is a sealer that makes it somewhat waterproof.

Varnish is a combination of the two.

My suggestion is to just put a poly sealer on it and let it go with the orginal color.
 
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Old 09-18-03, 06:48 PM
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It is difficult to make wood into something that it is not. Now that the finish is off and the stripper that you used has removed all the color that it can, you can try bleaching the wood with some oxalic acid (wood bleach) to see it you can lighten it some. This works sometimes better than others.

If the chest is cedar and you decide to clear coat it, it can stand alone as an example of itself amid all the oak.

Stain provides coloration and clarity to the definition of the natural color and grain of the wood. "Oil" stains tend to muddy the appearance of the natural color and grain of the wood. Aniline dyes simply color the wood without muddying the appearance of the grain.

Polyurethane is a type of varnish considered to be more durable than the traditional varnishes due to its formulation. Most vanish that you buy today will likely be polyurethane.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 09-19-03, 10:58 AM
Shoffman67
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Thanks

Thank you for your help, I think I am going to try to match the original color and then poly it. I still have a lot of sanding as there is some intricate detail that needs attention. Also I found what seems to be a lot of very black stain in what I would call a grooved design on the front of the chest. What would I use to blacken this again.
 
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Old 09-19-03, 11:25 AM
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To have a dead, opaque black look, use black kiwi paste shoe polish.
 
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Old 09-19-03, 12:25 PM
Shoffman67
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shoe polish

Would I apply the shoe polish before or after the stain and or varnish?
 
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Old 09-19-03, 02:02 PM
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After the stain.
 
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Old 09-25-03, 11:09 PM
imated
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Before you do anything to the piece you need to wash it with 50/50 water and TSP (tri sodium phosphate). If you dont the residues from the paint and varnish remover will not allow the new finish to stick to the piece and some time down the road you will have bubbling in the wood finish. you can find TSP at the same hardware as the paint and varnish remover.
 
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Old 09-27-03, 03:27 AM
Shoffman67
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tsp

Now when you say before I do anything did you mean before I strip it because I've done that already?
 
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Old 09-27-03, 07:13 AM
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What he means is to be sure to clean the piece after stripping following the instructions on the stripper container to be sure that all traces of the stripper and residue are removed.

Prior to staining, I find it helpful and informative to wipe the piece with a cloth wet with mineral spirits. This will show any areas that are not free from finish as places where the mineral spirits won't soak into the wood and therefore look lighter or have a sheen similar to plastic on the wood. In any event, it will look different. You can check to see that all is removed from these places. Mineral spirits won't harm the wood. When it evaporates, it will not leave a residue.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 09-27-03, 11:59 AM
Shoffman67
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thanks

Thanks for your help
 
  #12  
Old 09-29-03, 06:46 AM
imated
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Yes im sorry, after you have used the stripper on the chest that is when you use the TSP, the TSP actually nutralizes the stripper. I myself also wipe whatever i am refinishing with minneral spirits before using the TSP as this does show the unstripped materials, Let it dry and reaply more stripper if needed. wipe it again with min spirits,let it dry then wash it with TSP, The TSP will feel warm even if you use cold water that is the active ingredients working. It is totally safe to use on wood, just make sure you wear rubber or sergical gloves to do the job it will earitate your hands. Refinishing sometimes can be a lengthy process but if you dont do it right the first time you will not be happy with your work and end up redoing it again anyways. I have refinished over 200 pieces of furniture and the method i have described is the best method i have found, with much trial and error.

hope this is helpfull to you
 
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