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Refinish a cabinet

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  • Refinish a cabinet

    My wife has a very old curio cabinet which has a veneer top and sides which she wants removed and then restained to a different finish. I want some ideas on how to remove the veneer finish.

    Thanks in advance,

    ToolManBob

    [ 12-22-2003, 06:41 PM: Message edited by: ToolManBob ]

  • #2
    Bob----what color does your wife have in mind? Is it way off the tint/hue now on the piece? Reason I ask is that while old varnish or finish can be stripped, sometimes getting out the old stain requires a great deal of sanding----something that can be tricky with veneer. Also, when you say old, do you think you're in the antique----valuable old finish old-----while not likely----have seen Antiques Roadshow pieces drop in value more than 60% since the old finish was stripped off.

    Anyway---back on point----unless you're up to re-veneering, the safe wisdom is using a refinisher----something that desolves, but doesn't remove the finish. You'd end up with the same color, but a much lighter hue---when finished, you could add a couple of coats of varnish or shelac, etc.
    Dave

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    • #3
      Dave,

      Yes, the finish of the veneer is now a dark color. She wants the refinished color to like a light oak color.

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      • #4
        Well, you can give a stripper a try----be real careful not to get it too sopping wet with stripper or water (sometimes used to wash off the stripper). I'd just be really careful about too much sanding after the stripper. Worse comes to worse, you could try a pickled oak stain, or other solid color stain, which should cover more of the old color.
        Dave

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        • #5
          ToolManBob,
          What is the substrate? Different woods may yield different results. Going darker to lighter will usually not yield the desired results. Like Daveferg stated, use a finish remover, not a stripper. Strippers can attack the veneers and the glues that hold the piece together. You can try a pigmented stain to hide the darker stain, but practice on an obscure location, like the back of the cabinet or back side of a door.
          Avoid deep sanding. The veneers can be as thin as 1/64", and the stain can penetrate all the way through. Power sanding can quickly chew through the veneer.
          And before you begin, confirm that the grain is not a printed image, a photograph applied to a less desireable wood. Recognize that if all else fails, the end results may be a painted surface.
          If it don\'t fit, force it. If it breaks, \'needed fixin\' anyhow. 8{~

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