Staining or paining veneer furniture

Old 05-11-07, 02:34 AM
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Staining or paining veneer furniture

I have just bought some furniture; unfortunately not solid wood as normally preferred, but I want to stain it down from a birch colour to a dark black brown as I could not find real wood option I liked and the store I bought it from is discontinuing the darkest version they do.
It looks like a real wood veneer but I want to know the best way to lift the top coat of laquer/varnish in order to allow the stain to take. Can you do this or is it best to prime and paint? I would like to get the most "woodlike" finish possible and am not concerned if the finish is not flawless - hence the preference for stain over paint.
Any suggestions or tips? We are going to buy a plank in the same material to test on but if there are some tried and tested methodologies and products, it would be really useful to find out.
Old 05-11-07, 06:17 AM
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If it's commercially finished, it's probably lacquer and can be dissolved with rubbing alcohol.
Old 07-06-07, 10:07 AM
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Mitch is correct in stating alcohol will dissolve a lacquer finish. Even a spilled mixed drink will cut a lacquer finish, but you'll be there quite a while trying to remove the 'melted' residue with a putty knife and/or steel wool.

My favorite 'home brew' is a 50/50 mix of lacquer thinner and denatured alcohol (shellac thinner). It cuts even catalyzed lacquer finishes and costs about 1/2 as much as a good paint & varnish remover...

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