Refinishing furniture

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We have an old piece of furniture that my wife wants to refinish white for my daughter's room. The piece is a maple piece varnished with a gloss finish (but finishes are my weak point so I can't tell if it's an oil based varnish or not...).
I'm assuming I need to sand, but do I need to sand the finish right off, or just score it so the paint stays? There are a lot of intricate edges on the piece, and sanding by hand might be difficult. Would I be able to use my sandblaster for the those areas?
Also, what kinds of paint would people recommend?
Thanks
John
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Strip the finish, sand, put a light stain if desired, then refinish with multiple coats of polyurethane, cure four weeks, wet sand, rottenstone, pumice, wax. It will be a lovely piece of furniture rather than a cheap looking white piece.

You can go over sanded finish.

Never painted good wood so I don't know for sure. Probably a gloss latex, but the paint store can advise better. Oil enamels are pretty much gone these days.
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That is going to be a location thing as oil enamels are still readily available in Texas.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Never I mean never paint furniture with a Latex. Unless you never want to sand it again. Ever try to sand latex, it turns to little rubber balls. It does not sand.... Use an Enamel or alkid oil paint.
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<...snipped...>
If SWMBO said paint it white, then paint it white. Less work for you, in this case, too.
--
Better to be stuck up in a tree than tied to one.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar.org
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John wrote:

If it's the original finish it is almost certainly lacquer. __________

The surface needs to be deglossed so the paint has something to stick to. That can be done by sanding with fine grit (240 or smaller) or chemically with TSP or other deglosser. ____________

Only if you want it to look like a walnut shell. _____________

*NOT* acrylic. A satin or semi-gloss alkyd paint. Sprayed. You realize, I hope, that getting a good paint job on something like that is almost next to impossible without spraying it. Yes, you can do it by hand as Messr. Pawlowski outlined but using paint instead of a clear finish; it will take hours and hours and hours...and still more hours.
--

dadiOH
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If I understant you correctly, you want paint to be the new finished surface.
May I suggest you first use a "liquid sand paper" this typically will temperarily prepare the surface to accept paint. Because it is temperary you need to do a section at a time and paint if the piece is intricate. The liquid sand paper is will slightly soften the surface and you can find it at most any paint store or home center.
Test in an inconspicious area and see how the results come out.
I would also strongly advise using a quality primer followed by an Alkid oil based paint.
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Is this a troll?
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On Sun, 18 Jul 2010 16:49:29 -0700, "Lobby Dosser"

I can't tell from here, either, John.

Sure, for +-1/4" surface level tolerances. Go for it!

White, John.

Need you ask?
-- Exercise ferments the humors, casts them into their proper channels, throws off redundancies, and helps nature in those secret distributions, without which the body cannot subsist in its vigor, nor the soul act with cheerfulness. -- Joseph Addison, The Spectator, July 12, 1711
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I thought there might be a one in a thousand chance he was serious, so I thought I'd ask. No harm.
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I had a piece that sound just like yours. I used a stripper on it (citrus based)a brass brush and putty knifes to remove the finish. then used the neutralizer (wipe on and off) lightly sanded the entire piece. and just used amber shellac as a finish(I purchased this at a yard sale for 2 bucks it was painted with several colors). but if you want white paint use a good primer and a quality oil based paint )with an paint additive to help smooth it out) Enjoy it really is not hard at all
Leonard
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"John" wrote:

--------------------------------------
Some paint remover, a brass brush, some bronze wool and a lot of elbow grease will get you back to bare wood.
After that you will need to neutralize the wood.
After that I'd apply 2-3 coats of 1 # dewaxed shellac to seal the wood so that down the road someone will have a fighting chance of taking off the paint you are about to apply when they get tired of it.
If you can still get it, oil based would be my choice, otherwise, talk to a paint manufacturer tech service for advice.
Have fun.
Lew
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Everyone is over thinking this. Scuff sand all the flat areas and easy areas with like 150 sand paper. Use a scrub pad or sanding sponge on more intricate areas. Get some interior gloss white latex and add some flowtrol and add it per instruction. Get a few nice synthetic brushes and be done by noon.
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Do you consider that easier than wiping the surface with a dampened rag?
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OK, I shouldn't have said "everyone". I was referring to those who said strip it to bare wood, coat(s) of shellac, a primer, oil paint, etc. I meant just fricking paint it.
Also not sure about someones comment about not being able to sand latex. I do it all the time on my distressed pine furniture and she looks beautiful.
http://www.sonomaproducts.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id ):petaluma-farmhouse-nightstand&catid:petaluma-farmhouse&Itemid
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LOL... Ok all is well in the world again.
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One more thing concerning that, looking at your pieces I suspect that the latex paint that you are sanding is on bare wood. I have painted a lot of homes and do run into problems with trim if it has been repainted previousely with latex. It will indeed crumble and roll up into small balls as it typically does not adheared well to the previous coat. That is all to do with using the wrong preperation in the first place.
That said latex paint on a properly prepaired surface or one with no other previous finish tends to sand well as you have stated.
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Leon wrote:

I made the comment about Latex. I hate to paint, period. So believe me I'm no expert on paint or painting. But I deal with lots of painters. And all have said never use latex on wood. Its great on interior walls but most good or great painters do not use latex on doors and trim. Its a nightmare for the next guy that has to prep that door or trim for paint in the future. If they do run into a home thats had its doors and trim painted with latex they will use a special primer and sand it. At first I didn't believe them so I tried sanded it myself and it did exactly what they said it would. Melted in the sand paper, gummed it up and little balls of shit rolled up all around the surface. That was enough proof for me that the experts know what they're talking about.
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Did I say any thing to the contrary?
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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Are you saying you can dry sand acrylic latex paint and actually have the paper cut? Not have the paint just rub up into little blobs? If so, you are very lucky. I've used many brands of acrylic and none have ever dry sanded worth a damn; wet sanding is better but still not great. I think acrylic is great stuff. On walls. Not on wood or anything else that might remotely need sanding at some point in the future.
--

dadiOH
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