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I found this small chest at a consignment shop over the weekend is actually in pretty good shape except for some surface blemishes here and there the problem is it’s the wrong color the plan is for this chest to end up in our son’s room which has much darker furniture.
The first step in preparing this piece for a new finish is to remove the drawers and take off the hardware.
I don’t plan on getting rid of the existing finish but i do want to clean and with this solvent nap them i apply some to a soft cotton clock and begin wiping in the direction of the grain nap that is a good job of removing grime and oil without attacking or softening the finish itself, you can see here how much surface dirt is coming off at frequent intervals i unfold the cloth pad refold it to present a clean surface .
Re wet it and continue wiping …
…always in the direction of the grain the general role here is to keep wiping until the cloth comes up clean. Now it’s time for a little sanding for convenience i keep my sandpaper in an expanding file with the sandpaper grits labeled on the tabs i made this cutter here in the shop from a piece of wood hacksaw blade and a scrap piece of piano it quickly turns a pole sheet into quarters for this kind of sanding.
I fold the quarter sheet into thirds and hold it flat in my hand I stopped at frequent intervals and refold the sandpaper exposing a clean abrasive surface always sand with the grain of the wood doing otherwise will almost certainly leave scratch marks it may not be visible until you apply a finish we’re two pieces of wood intersect like this be sure and say it each parallel with the grain direction the object here is not to completely remove the existing finish but to eliminate any surface oxidation or boost material .
I’ve decided to take off this back piece so I could work on it in a horizontal position a paint scraper is the best tool for removing hard and finish like this that has accumulated at the joint saving invariably leaves a lot of dust and debris on the surface another cleaning using a soft cloth dampened .
With NASA will pick up a lot of the residue this is a tack cloth it’s quite sticky when it’s wiped over the surface that attracts and holds any remaining dust this is a very important step since these particles would become painfully apparent once the finish is applied the product i’m using for this project is a combination stain and finish since i’ve not strip this piece the original finish is still there and a conventional wood stain would not penetrate into the wood .
This polyurethane has colored pigments suspended …
… in it which is why it’s important to stir it well using emotion that lists the pigment up from the bottom of the container where it may have settled avoid shaking any top coder finish doing so can introduce air bubbles these three finishes had the same polyurethane base but different color pigments to see which one will look best I make up three sample boards the center one is the closest to what I want .
Next I clip this plastic spout under the can and carefully pour the finishing to a clean container this one step stain & finishes an oil-based product so I’m choosing a high quality brush designed for use with all types of finishes in my book the better the brush the better the end result and I’m not exaggerating.
I noticed …
that the surface of this chess continues to have a somewhat slippery field despite the fact i’ve cleaned and sanded it so i’m going to test the section for possible silicon contamination well my suspicions are confirmed these craters that are forming are caused by silicon that’s penetrated into the existing finish and in.
Spots is repelling the new finish i’m trying to apply so where the silicone come from while the most likely sources spray or liquid furniture polishes repeated use overtime builds up residue which becomes apparent during refinishing shellac has the ability to seal off silicon providing a barrier that isolates it from the new finish.
The best way to load the brush especially when using a finish like this one is too wet the bristles about halfway up then gently slap the brush on the side of the container apply the finish and straight even strokes moving in the direction of the grain once the section is coated hold the brush at a 45 degree angle and move smoothly from one end to the other, this technique called striking off insurance at the polyurethane and suspended color pigments will be distributed evenly and uniformly generally speaking using a light touch will minimize brush marks avoid over brushing as soon as the surface looks good stop I let the finish dry overnight the next day i put on new drawer pulls reattach the original discussions and reinstall the drawers from a consignment shop fine to an attractive piece of furniture that’s a perfect complement to my son’s room a project made faster and easier with a one-step finishing solution that doesn’t require stripping.