refinishing cherry furniture


Old 05-30-04, 06:53 AM
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refinishing cherry furniture

Hi, I'm new to the refinishing thing and I want to refinish 3 cherry piecies of furniture that I was just given. They are from the pennsylvania house hallmark cherry collection and are about 20 years old. The finish on them is not bad, but I hate the look of extremely dark wood. I am refinishing some other pieces first to get the hang of it and I've run into a few problems.

I used a stripper on the first piece (pine w/walnut finish) and the stripper did not do much. Is it normal to have to sand off the stain? The stripper did remove the coating, but it is taking hours to sand by hand.

Second, is there a type of power sander that is appropriate for refinishing wood?

And back to my original question, is there a method for refinishing the cherry furniture so it looks good in a lighter color? I've read conflicting ideas about sanding the cherry. Thanks for all of your help.
Old 05-30-04, 08:16 AM
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Location: Taylors, SC
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hate the look of extremely dark wood.
Immutably, cherrywood is dark and gets darker with exposure to light.

Stripper needs to be used in sufficient quantity to stay wet until the finish starts to bubble. This may have been mentioned in the directions on the container. Try covering it with plastic wrap to slow evaporation. It usually takes two applications to get all the finish and stain. A third pass with a scrub brush or scotchbrite-style pad is needed to get all the strays and the remainder of the stain. Sanding is generally for smoothing the finish after the stripper has been neutralized and the piece washed prior to staining. Sanding to remove the stain will entail removing the wood down to the point that the pores with stain are sanded away to reveal unstained wood.

Sanding cherry can be easier with an orbital or random orbital sander due to the tendency of cherry to have a bit of wild grain to it. Cherry is rather hard. Take care using too coarse a sandpaper on it to avoid scratching it so that much subsequent sanding is required to remove the scratches.

cherry furniture so it looks good in a lighter color?
Cherrywood won't be in a lighter color. Except for some of the sapwood, cherry is dark and stays that way. It does seem from your description that this is not cherry, but pine which will strip back to the light color of pine.

Hope this helps.

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