Strip or sand natural pine finish?

Old 03-07-01, 10:20 PM
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I have some heavy pine furniture (cargo style) that has been "well used" over the last seven years. Some areas have started to discolor and there are a few areas with light/minor stains (beverage rings / splashes).

The finish is a natural pine and I don't believe there's any varnish or lacquer (the wood looks / feels natural to the touch). I'd like to retain the "natural" look, but remove the beverage rings and give the finish a more even look.

So do I strip or sand?

And once I do that and apply a new finish, what's the best method for care and upkeep? Is a product like "Old English" okay?

Finally, there are a few small, but deep, gouges (my son + mechanical pencil = bad news!). They're not scraches - just deep pinholes. Do I fill them prior to staining, or after? Any recommendations on filler products?

Old 03-08-01, 12:41 AM
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I cant really advise you on filler products but if the pine has no varnish coating then sanding is the way to go to clean the furniture....In the U.K we use bees wax to produce the natural look. 3 to 4 coats and lots of "elbow grease" will make your furniture glow!!
Old 03-08-01, 02:38 PM
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I agree with Topkosher on the wax finish. For removing teh stains, I'd use oxalic acid. It may lighten the wood slightly, but it really attacks watermarks.

For filler, I use Famowood. Almost any name brand wood dough will work. Try to get a color LIGHTER than the surrounding wood. No matter what the mfg tells you, fillers don't stain like the surrounding wood. Resign yourself to having to 'touchup' these spots after you fill and sand.

Bleach (to remove water marks)
Fill all the gouges
Sand completely


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