Starting a Project need real advise


I am about to start refinishing my bed. It's made of solid wood (a light wood, not sure what kind) and is about 25 to 35 years old. It currently has a very light finish on it (more of a pine look) however I would like to put a much darker stain on it before I'm done. Any suggestions on where or how I should start? Any links or resources, maybe with a step-by-step? Anything at all would be great! Thanks!
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Mr.Licon wrote:

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=46103&cat=1,46096
Understanding Wood Finishing http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=30284&cat=1,46096,46103&ap=1
That's one I like.
Well worth the time and trouble since we cannot identify your underlying finish etc.
-- Will R. Jewel Boxes and Wood Art http://woodwork.pmccl.com The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. George Bernard Shaw
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How could I identify my underlying finish etc. I would like to take the best approach to this.
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That is covered in Flexners book (the one cited). I too think that it is an excellent resource.

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Sounds like this may be your first. This is a large project and not recommended to be a "learning curve" project.
For links and resources, do a web search looking for "wood refinishing". You should find many hits.
The present finish needs to be removed. You can use a finish remover, or sand.
I would expect your bed has a number of nooks and crannies, lots of edges, etc. With a complex item like this sanding is takes a lot of time. Consider investing in one of the sanders designed to get into corners. Make sure it is random orbit or you will not be happy to see scratches across the grain.
Finish removers may be easier, and can remove the surface finish. If there is existing stain, this can be more difficult to remove without sanding.
Finish removers do not open the pores as sanding, and so re-staining may require use of a gel stain if the wood is still sealed.
Applying a top coat after staining can be done in a variety of ways : a) Wax. b) Shellac c) Oil based polyurethane applied via hand wipe, brush or spray d) Acryllic (water based "varnish") applied via brush or spray. e) Hand rubbed oil, e.g., tung, danish, watco. Many brands.
The water based acryllic coatings do not add any colour, but are easy to apply. They also do not add bring out the grain like wax/shellac/oil based poly/oil.
Personally I hate the removal step in re-finished assembled items. Too time consuming. Applying new topcoats is the easy part. When I make items I try to apply the finish to the components before I assemble since they are easier to prepare/sand, etc.
Dave Paine.

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Search at www.homesteadfinishing.com and look around at www.refinishwizard.com for starters.

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Thank you!
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Thank you!
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Thank you very much for the replies! The bed is actually quite smooth. Not to many nooks and crannies. I believe the current finish is worn in different areas, and I am worried about a finish remover damahing the wood. Also, what is the trick to a nice dark color? Like a dark cherry or deep brown?
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Making the bed out of Cherry to begin with, and letting it get darker naturally.
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Thank you very much for the replies! The bed is actually quite smooth. Not to many nooks and crannies. I believe the current finish is worn in different areas, and I am worried about a finish remover damahing the wood. Also, what is the trick to a nice dark color? Like a dark cherry or deep brown?
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You have chosen a miserable project. Assuming the existing finish is in perfect condition, consider just putting Minwax Polyshades over it. It is a half step from simply painting it, but is really easy. Presumably the wood doesn't look like much anyhow.
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