Refinishing Old Wood Trim

Refinishing Old Wood Trim

Ideas and suggestions for refinishing old wood, how to refinish and restain wood for woodworking projects in the home.

Craftsman Style

¶ Old natural finished wood trim of either hard or soft woods can be refinished in the natural or a stained color. If the old natural finish is in good shape it may need no more than sandpapering and revarnishing. If marred, bruised and scratched it will require stripping off the old finish, bleaching and revarnishing or staining.

¶ Old stained wood which has been stained and varnished or waxed may be restained within certain limitations with new stain colors. The same color or a darker color of similar kind is easily used, after stripping off the old varnish, wax and as much of the stain as can be washed off with benzole, turpentine, benzine or alcohol. A brown stain over an old red stain will usually succeed, and the reverse is often true. It usually is not practical within the limitations of expense to change from browns and reds to greens and grays, unless the old surface is completely stripped off and bleached thoroughly. Of course, varnish stains can be used no matter what the old color. Whatever stain is used the new finish will usually be as dark as or darker than, the old.

¶ Operation 1: Strip-off the old varnish with liquid varnish remover. Wash up the surface with benzole, benzine or turpentine to remove the wax film left by the remover. Sandpaper the surface thoroughly with No. ½ or No. 1 paper or steel wool. Clean up with duster brush.

¶ Operation 2: Bleach. If the surface is dark and uneven in color it should be bleached. Usually oxalic acid bleaches will serve the purpose. After bleaching let the surface dry well.

¶ Operation 3: Sandpaper the surface well with No. ½ paper to remove the raised grain caused by the water bleaching solution. Clean up well with a duster brush, being certain to get the dust out of the pores, corners, mouldings, etc.

¶ Operation 4: Refinish the same as new wood, using a penetrating oil stain, spirit stain or water stain.

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