How to Refinish a Wood Room Divider

Lead Image
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
Painters tarp
Rubber gloves or chemical-proof gloves
Protective goggles
Saw horses
Putty knife
Sanding block
Tack cloth
Wood primer
Sealant remover
Small rollers

A wood room divider can be a good way to break up parts of a large room, conceal untidy corners, or just bring some texture and interest to a room. You can refinish a wood room divider in just a few hours.

Step 1 – Protect the Area and Yourself

Lay out a painter’s tarp in the area where you will do the refinishing. Put on rubber or chemical-proof gloves and eyewear protection. Place the divider on the tarp.

Step 2 – Remove the Hardware

Remove the hinges and any hardware on the divider. Lay the divider over sawhorses to make it easy to work on.

Step 3 – Apply the Stripper

Now roll on some stripper to remove the paint or sealer from the wood. Let it sit for a few minutes. Check the product label for exact times. Then start to remove the coating with a putty knife being careful not to dig into the wood. Use old cloths to wipe away excess. You may need to repeat this step to get all of the coating off.

Step 4 – Sand the Wood

Now sand down the wood with a medium-grade sandpaper. Attach some of the sandpaper to a sanding block to use on the flat areas. Then use a fine-grade sandpaper for finishing. Be sure to smooth all of the corners and get into the details of the wood to smooth it out well. Remove the sanding dust with tack cloth when you have completely finished sanding.

Step 5 – Apply Wood Primer

Roll on the wood primer to make it ready for staining.this is an optional step but it can help the wood to receive the stain more evenly. Get a primer for wood to be stained not a paint primer. Once the primer is dry, roll on or brush on the stain evenly. Wipe off the excess stain with a clean cloth. Let the stain dry.

Step 6 – Apply the Sealant

Apply the sealant of your choice to the screen using a good brush. Let it dry and apply one or more coats on top of it, letting it dry thoroughly between coats.

Step 7 – Mount the Hardware

If you want to update the hardware now is the time to do it. There are many finishes available at a home improvement or hardware store. Take the old ones with you to be sure you get the same size so that you do not have to alter the screen to make them fit. If the bottom of the screen has floor protectors you may want to replace those as well. As soon as you have the hardware you want screw the hinges in and attach any other hardware to the screen. Now you can stand it back up.

Your screen should look renewed and can now be a proud focal point in your home. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that you did it yourself.