Mama Tweedle-In-Law Refinishes a Buffet

November 16, 2012

Hello there, this is Mama-in-law Tweedle. I spent the summer watching Miss Tweedle completing so many beautiful projects, I thought I should get going on some of my own  re-dos I’d been procrastinating about. 

Here is a buffet we inherited and for years housed all of our crayons, paints, and craft supplies. It then moved into a bathroom for storage. It was looking pretty sad...
First off I stripped all the old finish off using Circa 1850 furniture stripper, a scraper, and steel wool. 

Wear rubber gloves for this step, it’s deadly stuff. I have tried the more natural products of haven’t been happy with the result. You need to do a good job of this or it will be evident forever. Be sure to soak all the hardware in a container of the stripper and use steel wool to remove the paint. 

Sand the entire piece with 220 grit sandpaper. Once you’re happy with the result, vacuum the piece and give it a good wipe down with mineral spirits (paint stripper, or turpentine).

Now you’re ready for the stain. Stain goes a long way, so you will probably only need the smallest container available. If there’s a hidden spot to test it on - give it a try keeping in mind it will be a bit darker after a couple of coats. 

I use a sponge brush to apply the stain. If you can divide the piece in sections - top, sides, doors it makes it easier. Apply the stain evenly and let it sit for 5 - 15 minutes and then wipe the surface off with a clean cloth. Repeat. Don’t skip the second coat it’s important to give the stain colour a little more depth.
Now you’re ready for the final step, the finish. Personally I only use urethane (Minwax Helmsman indoor/outdoor finish). It wipes up nicely with a damp cloth and you don’t have to use coasters for damp or hot items. It also protects the wood and stain from UV damage.
Apply the finish with a quality brush evenly being sure to completely cover all of the surface. You need good lighting so you can be sure no spots have been missed. Let dry 6 hours, sand with 220 grit paper, vacuum, wipe down and repeat 2 more times. 3 coats are recommended. Let dry for a full 24 hours before using.

WHAT a difference!! It's just like brand new again!


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