Just purchased a used coffee table that needs help. The stain on the wood was done poorly. Do I need to strip it to re-stain or can I stain over the old stain.
Rose from Malvern, PA
Usually you will want to strip it before you stain. In many cases, it will be hard to find an exact-match to the existing stain and even if you do get lucky enough to get a close match, there is no guarantee that the stain will absorb in the same way.
Depending on the damage / wear and tear, you might try putting a coating of Old English furniture polish on it before you go to the trouble of stripping and re-staining. I have found that you can often times get light surface scratches, etc, out with it.
The table has a lot of intricate wood work and would be laborious to strip. It is not scratched though. Perhaps I could try the Old English first.
I use the Homer Formby kit for refinishing. Use ultra fine steel wool to apply the formula to dissolve the old stain and then finish with a couple of coats of semi gloss or matte sealer finish. This is just about the easiest way to finish any furniture that I have run across.
Better giving the coffee table a good sand down with rough sand paper first then a light sanding with the smooth sand paper before re-staining
Depends on what kind of topcoat was used. You could probably hit it with some steel wool first. Medium-course to remove topcoat then use a fine grade and re-stain. Make sure you wipe all the dust off before you re-stain. Good luck!
I've used this on furniture with great results, Howard's Restore-a-Finish. It costs about 10-11 dollars and they had it at our local Ace Hardware:
It does a nice job.
Susan from ThriftyFun
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