Going Green: Refinishing an Old Wood Aquarium Stand

A wooden aquarium stand is something that can just fit in a room. There are plenty of different aquarium stands on the market today, but the wooden options are very elegant and add a sense of character, and style, to any size aquarium. The strength and durability of a wooden aquarium stand is very hard to beat. As the stand gets older, loses some of its shine, or needs to be repaired, you can easily refinish it to make it look new again. 

Being Green in Aquarium Stand Refinishing

In today's world of being hypersensitive to the environment and finding "green" methods for daily living, it is a good idea to refinish, or repair, old items rather than throwing them into the trash pile. An old aquarium stand is more than just an antique. It is a piece of history that can be easily fixed up, refinished, and made to look new again with eco-friendly techniques and products. 

Refinishing wood products can be quite a mess. There is a lot of sanding, removing of old stain or paint, fixing broken pieces, and then applying new finish. Not only is this a mess, but also quite harmful to the environment. The paint and stains that are stripped away can be volatile to the air quality in the surrounding area. If not using a respirator, safety glasses, and even gloves, a person can experience dizziness, difficultly breathing, and outbreaks of a rash. If you have an old wooden aquarium stand, here are some easy to follow green techniques to refinish it. 

Use Correct Safety Equipment

It is important, especially when refinishing a very old aquarium stand, that you wear the appropriate safety gear. The essentials are gloves, respirator, and safety glasses. However, it is also a good idea to wear an apron or full body suit. Make sure that they are washable so they do not end up in the landfill with all of the paint and stain on them. 

Use Soybean-Based Finish Remover

An eco-friendly alternative to the toxic paint and stain removers is one that has a soybean base to it. These are available in many hardware stores today and is a safer alternative to sanding. It works much like the harsher chemical solvents as it softens the finish so that it can be removed with a scraper. 

Use Milk-Based Paint as a Finish

You will not want to pour any of it in your morning cereal, but milk-based paint is a great way to add some antique coloring to your aquarium stand. This type of paint has been used for hundreds of years and is completely biodegradable. 

Use Eco-Friendly Stains 

If you were planning to stain the aquarium stand, then there are some very good eco-friendly stains on the market today. Look into these options for a greener project. The stains are not going to be as dark, or in a vast array of colors, but they do not have the large amounts of VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) that are released into the air. 

Use Recycled Wood for Repairs

If there are any type of repairs that need to be completed for the refinishing job, use some recycled wood that you have in the garage, can use from a friend, or find at the landfill.