Refinishing Wooden Toy Boxes

What You'll Need
Sanding block
Medium-grade sandpaper
Fine-grade sandpaper
Electric sander
Vacuum or brush
2 fine bristle paint brushes
Plastic gloves

Wooden toy boxes make excellent additions to a kid’s room or a playroom. They are durable and offer a convenient location to store toys and games, reducing clutter. Periodically it is necessary to refinish wooden toy boxes to ensure they last for years to come.

Step 1 – Remove Stain from Wooden Toy Box

For unfinished toy boxes it is not necessary to perform this step. Use an electric sander or a sanding block along with medium grade sandpaper to sand off the entire toy box. The goal should be to sand until any existing stain and sealant have been removed. Bare wood should be visible when you have finished this step.

Step 2 – Finish Sanding Job

Use an electric sander or a sanding block along with fine grade sand paper to re-sand the entire toy box. Perform this step until the entire toy box has a smooth feel to the touch. You should be able to run your fingers along any portion, in any direction, without feeling rough spots.

Step 3 – Clean the Toy Box

Use a vacuum with a hose attachment or a brush to remove any dust from the toy box. Dampen a rag lightly and wipe the entire toy box off to remove any remaining dust. Allow this to dry for 1 hour. It is important that you only dampen the rag. A wet rag can lead to the wood getting wet. If this occur, you will need to allow the wood to dry for 24 to 48 hours before proceeding to the next step.

Step 4 – Seal the Wooden Toy Box

Place a thin coat of wood sealant over the entire toy box using the sealant and a fine bristle brush. Do not put too much sealant on. This can lead to bubbling which reduces the effectiveness of the sealant. Try to move with the grain of the wood when applying the sealant. This will help to prevent the stain from seeping into the wood and water from gaining direct contact with the wood. Allow the sealant to dry for at least 12 hours.

Step 5 – Apply a Stain

Apply a thin layer of stain using the second fine bristle brush. Do not put thick layers on because this can lead to inconsistent color patterns. If necessary, you can add a second coat to finish the job off. Remember to paint the stain on in the same direction as the grain of the wood. Allow this to dry for 12 hours and apply a second and even third coat if necessary.

Step 6 – Apply a Top Sealant Layer

Apply a top layer of sealant using the sealant and the same fine bristle brush you used for the sealant. This layer is to protect the stain and to make cleaning the toy box up easier.