How To Restain Wood

| Last modified on January 27th, 2022

Wood is a great material for building furniture, floors, or anything else you can imagine. That’s because it’s a long-lasting material that also looks great and has a lot of natural character. But, of course, with time wood takes a beating and it will eventually show its age.

How To Restain Wood Guide

The best way to improve the look of wood furniture is to restain it. Many of us don’t realise how to restain wood, but this simple procedure is an art that every homeowner should know how to do. It will help you create that new look you’ve always wanted for your wood furniture.

To restain wood, you’ll need sandpaper, sanding blocks and some old cloth to wipe away the dust. The instructions below will show you how simple it is.

How To Restain Wood In 5 Easy Steps

The following are the 5 essential steps in this procedure. Each step will show you exactly what is to be done.

Remove Old Stain

You will start this procedure by removing old stains from your wood furniture with a special stripping agent. Because of the time involved, it’s best that you cover your furniture with plastic sheeting before beginning. Use a sponge or stiff brush to apply the stripper to the wood, then leave it on for about 20 minutes according to the manufacturer’s directions.

After this time is up, scrape off the old finish using an old putty knife or another similar object that can remove paint or varnish fast with little effort by applying pressure on the blade against the wood surface.

Also, make sure there aren’t any loose pieces of the stain or paint in the grooves and tight spots of your furniture. It will prevent you from getting a good finish and even damage your furniture (or you).

Sand The Surface

Once the old stain has been removed from the surface, you’re ready to sand it. Begin by using a hand sander to take off the old finish from the edges and corners of your furniture. Then switch over to finer grit sandpaper and continue by working down towards the flat surfaces of your furniture.

Seal The Wood

The next step is to seal the wood with a product called polyurethane, which will make it resistant to air bubbles. For this, you should use a polyurethane sealer and either a brush or roller applicator and apply the sealer. If your furniture is made of solid wood, you’ll need to apply two coats of sealer for solid wood and three coats for veneered pieces. If the sections of your furniture are not complete, it’s important that you do each section separately to give them time to dry before moving on with the next section.

Apply New Stain Or Paint

The next step is to apply a new stain or paint. If you’re planning on a painting, you can choose any color of your liking, but the most recommended color for furniture is earth tones because it gives the wood a natural look. The best way to apply the paint is with a brush.

Apply New Stain Or Paint

Apply Finish

The final step is to apply a finish. The finish will ensure durability and prevent debris from sticking to the wood. You should choose a clear or semi-clear finish for your furniture. The choice is up to you, but the best option is semi-clear because it will also give you a good look at the grain of the wood at the end of your project, which will make it more valuable for resale purposes later on.

How To Restain Wood Furniture

Before applying a new stain or paint, make sure your wood furniture is clean and dry, with all parts of it free from dust and dirt. If you’ve applied any varnish or paint previously on your furniture, be sure to remove it first with mineral spirits (aka paint thinner) before proceeding on to any restaining process.

How To Restain Wood Furniture

Next, spread a nice even coat of stain or paint on the wood surfaces. Thoroughly wipe off the excess with a cloth and let it dry for an hour. Then apply another coat and let that dry as well.

Once this is done, you can use a clear sealer to protect your restained wood furniture. This will protect against future stains and create an attractive finish that will look great in your home.

How To Restain Wood Floors

If you have any wooden floors in your home, you’re sure to have stain problems now and then. Restaining wood floors can be a very rewarding experience if you know the right approach. An added benefit of staining wooden floors is that it can increase their value.

How To Restain Wood Floors

Restaining floors should be done the same way as restaining wood. When applying stain, follow the same steps as noted above for applying stain to furniture woods. The only difference here is you’ll need to apply two coats instead of one coat to ensure a thorough and even finish over your entire floor surface. However, allow about 8 hours between each coat for total drying.

How To Restain Wood Without Stripping

If your wood furniture has been cleaned and stained with a good quality stain in the past, it may be possible to obtain a smooth finish by refinishing. To get a smooth finish with restaining, you will need to apply about three thin coats of stain or paint.

The Bottom Line

Restaining furniture or floors can be a very rewarding experience for you. Knowing the right way to do it will make your furniture look new again while also increasing its value for resale. Restained furniture can also add to the style of your home by altering its color palette and giving it a new look that will make visitors take notice. I hope this guide gave you vast information about how to restain wood.


Can You Stain Over Stained Wood?

Yes, but it’s best to use an oil-based stain. Always test the stain on a hidden area before applying the treatment to the entire surface. The surface should be clean and dry before applying fresh stains or finishes.

Can You Restain Wood Without Sanding?

Unfortunately no. The entire surface will need to be sanded or ground down to allow enough stain to penetrate the wood pores. If you’re looking for something less labor-intensive than sanding, you can try chemically stripping the old finish off with solvents like mineral spirits or turpentine before staining. However, this method can damage the wood, so it’s best left until after staining when you know the wood is suitable for the process.

Do You Have To Sand Off Stain Before Restaining?

Not necessarily. Many people restain by putting down a layer of paint in the old stain color and letting it soak in before restaining. The way this works is that the topcoat will act like cloth or thin cardboard for your new stain color to soak into without spotting, fading, or peeling off at unsightly places.

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