In this instructable I hope to convey upon everyone how easy it is to turn old furniture ino a showpeice that you will have for years to come.Whether it is something you were given from your family or something you found on the side of the road (as long as it is structually sound). I will usually refinish just the parts you can see since there is no sense in worrying about areas you'll never see. For demonstration purposes only I will just be doing the draws of a desk I was given. The items you will need are as follows:
Sandpaper in assorted grits ( for this project I used 40 and 80 grit)
Sander ( electric or hand but electric is far easier)
Stain ( in your choice of color)
Polyeurethane ( you can use a polyeurethane and stain mix and still get great results)
The difference betwwen the beginning finish and the end result makes this all worth it.
Step 1: Removing the Old Paint/varnish
The first thing you should do is check that all the drawers and doors open and close freely, if they don't now is the time to adjust them or sand them so they work correctly. After you have everything working properly you start removing the old finish by sanding all the surfaces that are visible. Once the finish is completely removed you can switch to a finer grade of sandpaper. You will notice the differance between the old finish and the new finish. On the sanded drawer you can see the beautiful woodgrain that some one thought of covering up so many years ago.
Step 2: Staining the Wood
After every thing is well sanded and free of flaws you can start to stain your project. First make sure the stain is thoroughly mixed so you get an even color. Apply the stain by brush or rag and let sit for about 15 minutes. When 15 minutes has gone by you will need to remove the excess stain with a clean rag. At this point you can either go straight to the polyeurethane or youcan continue to stain ( the more coats of stain you use the Deeper and darker the coloring) Just remember to remove the excess stain before going to polyeurethane.
Step 3: Making It Shine.
After you have removed the excess stain you can apply the polyeurethane with a paintbrush. In order to get the best finish you need to brush in long even strokes in the direction of the grain.The first picture shows the first coat and the second picture shows the difference between one coat and two coats ( you can use a fine steel wool in between coats to help smooth it out).