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Staining Wood Furniture

I have a coffee table that I would like to match my TV stand. It would require me to go from light wood to mahogany. If I'm going darker, do I have to strip the stain away completely? Or can I strip off the varnish and apply a darker stain?


By thegoodone1984 from Anchorage, AK

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August 16, 20090 found this helpful

You only need to sand off the polyurethane finish. Then you can apply your stain. I would recommend a gel stain if you are going from a light color to a dark color. If you use a regular penetrating or wiping stain you may have to apply several coats to get your desired dark color. Hope that helps!

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August 19, 20090 found this helpful

If you're only stripping off the varnish, make sure you get it all! Otherwise the stain won't soak into the wood as well. I have always gotten the best results when stripping everything off, even though it takes more work.

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August 19, 20090 found this helpful

I think you'll have better luck sanding down to bare wood so you know you've gotten all of it off.

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