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how to refinish a painted wood desk?

I want to strip a painted desk and refinish it to its natural wood look. what do i strip it with or do i just sand it down. Do i use a conditioner for the wood in between the stripper and the new stain and sealer?

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Posted 2013-10-24T06:23:33+0000  by kellydawn38 kellydawn38

Welcome to our community KellyDawn38!


Thank you for your question! Refinishing a piece of furniture is a great way to breathe new life into a piece! It takes a little bit of patience and time, but you will be amazed at how great your desk will look when all is said and done.


Apply a stripper: You are correct; you will need to use a paint stripper. You will apply the paint stripper with a cheap paint brush and let it sit. How long it sits depends on which stripper you use. No matter which stripper you use, do not allow it to dry on the surface. Most strippers are ready to remove when it starts to wrinkle.


Remove the stripper: To remove the stripper, scrape it off using a plastic putty knife. Make sure not to dig into the wood.  


What if there is still paint on there? At this point if you are not down to bare wood, you will need to apply more stripper. This may need to be done numerous times, especially if there are numerous layers of paint.


Down the bare wood, now what?   Once you are down to bare wood, you will apply an after wash. This is going to get off any remaining reside the stripper has left behind.


Make it smooth: Sand the entire piece until it is smooth with medium grit sandpaper. You may not need to do a lot of sanding; it all depends on the state of the desk. You can do this by hand, no need for a fancy machine.  


To condition or not to condition? Whether you need to condition the wood depends on the type of wood you are working with. If you are working with a hard wood, such as oak or maple, you do not need to condition it. If you are working with a soft wood, such as pine or poplar, you will want to use a wood conditioner before you stain.


Now it’s time to stain! Finally, you can stain your piece! There are many kinds of stains out there for you to choose from. You have a choice of oil or latex based stains. There are also some with a polyurethane mixed it. Any of these will work for your project.



How many coats should I apply? Some stains only require one coat, while others recommend 2-3 coats. Make sure to read the instructions for the stain that you choose to determine how many coats you will need.  


What kind of applicator should I use? The best way to apply stain is with a brush. If you are using an oil based stain, you should use a natural bristle brush. If you are using a water based stain, you should use a synthetic brush.


Finish it up! If you didn’t get a stain with polyurethane mixed in, you will need to apply polyurethane. You should apply at least 2 coats and sand it lightly in between each coat.


That’s it!


If you have any more questions, please let us know!


Christine  :)

Posted 2013-10-28T18:06:34+0000  by Christine_HD_ATL
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