Refinish a Dining Room Set

A brand new dining room set costs as much as several hundred to several thousand dollars. Not all homeowners can afford such high prices, so they turn to refinishing their old dining room sets or low- priced sets bought secondhand. Refinishing a dining room set requires some time and concentration, though the process itself does not require a team of professionals, or even one professional. Refinishing a dining room set is a simple home improvement project you can perform on your own to update your dining room furniture.

Protect yourself and your clothing before you start to strip off the old paint or stain on the dining room set. Don a pair of chemical-resistant gloves, a set of old clothes and some safety goggles to strip the paint; the chemicals in the paint stripper, though easy to work with, cause pain and damage when in direct contact with skin and the eyes.

Apply the paint stripper to the surfaces of the dining table and chairs. The stripper requires a few minutes of wait time; check the container's label for details. Depending on the product, by the time you finish applying the stripper to the last piece of your dining set, the first piece may be ready for the next step.

Begin stripping the paint or stain using the flat-headed stripper tool. The paint or stain should bubble and become easy to push off the furniture item. If the stripper tool does not work or becomes ineffective, wipe it off with a paper towel, and try again. Progress to use the nylon scrubbing brush and steel wool as you remove more of the paint or stain.

Clean the stripped wood with a stripped wood cleaner. At this time, use another piece of steel wood to aid in wiping away any remaining stripper residue. Allow the furniture pieces to dry overnight.

Apply wood filler to any dented or punctured areas of the furniture pieces. Remember to choose a wood filler color that matches the dining room set's natural color, especially if you plan to stain the table a light color or apply clear polyurethane coating.

Sand all surfaces of the dining set to prepare the pieces for the application of the paint or stain you chose for refinishing. Do not press hard with the sandpaper, merely sand enough to create a rough surface on the wood pieces for stain or paint to adhere. Wipe away sand and dust created during this step using a piece of tack cloth.

Apply the new paint or stain with a brush or sponge applicator. Allow the first coat to dry overnight, and apply a second coat. Give the second coat overnight drying time before applying a final coat of clear polyurethane to protect and seal the paint job.


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