best way to refinish trunk exterior?

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Old 12-26-12, 12:42 PM
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best way to refinish trunk exterior?

I was cleaning out our garage and found an old wood trunk. not antique, but older. looks cedar lined and in good shape inside. exterior has some light mold and looks like it was been (re)finished more than once...not sure....I am very novice when it comes to woodworking/finishing.

anyhow, my wife asked me if I could refinish the exterior. what is the best way to strip off whats there? like a chemical "peel?" or just sand it down?

I would like to get it back to its original finish and then put a light protective stain on it.

photo attached.

any thoughts are appreciated. happy holidays.

THB
 
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Old 12-26-12, 12:59 PM
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Strip it, sand it smooth, stain it and then apply three coats of polyurethane (with light 220 grit scuff sanding between coats) would be my process.

I like strippers with MEK in them but it's nasty stuff and must be used outside. There are citrus strippers which others think work fine but I have not tried one.
 
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Old 12-26-12, 01:36 PM
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thanks, Mitch. I am guessing all that chemical action on outside (plus the sanding) should deal with the mold? had a thought...gotta assume if there was mold on exterior that surely some made its way into the interior cedar lining, although I dont see any. I guess maybe a mild bleach application

as for the sanding on outside, a medium grit?

take care
 
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Old 12-26-12, 02:21 PM
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I wouldn't worry about the inside if it looks and smells ok.

As to the outside, the grit is determined by what you have after stripping - sometimes you get lucky and can start with a fine grit, other times you have to be more aggressive at first; you're just trying to sand it smooth as if you were building it in the first place.
 
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Old 12-26-12, 02:44 PM
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I'd possibly do a little research before you go messing with it. If it happens to be an older or a quality item...refinishing (even if it has been before) can do a number on value. A quality older refinish is better than a poor quality new refinish.

I'd check with a few shops and find out what you have before you go to far. It may be recent or it may not....but the less you do to it the better...normally.

btw....I think that's more properly called a chest or blanket chest. Normally at the foot of a bed or somewhere else in a bedroom.
 
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