refinishing newer furniture

Old 06-24-01, 07:44 AM
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I have a bedroom set by Thomasville that is made with Cherry and Maple hardwoods and veneers. The stain is dark and I would like to have lighter furniture. Can the dark stain be removed? What products would I use? If it can't be lightened could I paint the pieces?
Old 06-24-01, 08:22 AM
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Lightening dark stains, especially from a factory piece, can be difficult. Most factories use an "NGR" stain, which is alcohol based. It penetrates deeply into the wood, whether veneer or solid hardwood to give a uniform color.

If you're going to change the look no matter what, try stripping a drawer front. Then scrub thoroughly with lacquer thinner and 00 steel wool. After the drawer is completely dry, sand. Then wipe the drawer front with a rag wet with lacquer thinner. The color you see is probably about as light as you're going to get the piece. Depending on the manufacturer and the materials they used at the time, a 2 part bleach MAY lighten the piece further.

The answer to the second question (painting) is yes. Sand the piece completely. The object here is not to remove the finish, but to 'scuff it up' enough for a new finish to have something to hang on to. Now is also the time to remove any blemishes in the current finish. Let your fingertips find the scratches, runs, etc. They'll locate 'bad' spots faster than your eye can. Sand them completely out - they'll show up like a neon sign under a coat of paint.

Apply a good primer. I've used both BIN and KILZ and found them acceptable. Sand lightly to remove any irregularities, then paint. You can use either oil or latex over either of the primers mentioned. I'd stay away from flat wall paint - it's not durable enough, nor is it particularly easy to clean.

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