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How To Stain Furniture That Is Already Stained

There are many reasons you may want to re-stain your already stained furniture. If you are tired of your bland looking furniture, one way to revamp it and bring it back to life is to re-stain it. And if you are up for a little adventure, using a different color shade in re-staining your furniture can make a world of difference.

And no, you don’t need to hire it out to get the job done. By following our 5 easy steps below, you will be amazed at the result.

  • Step 1 – Check if the furniture is sealed
  • Step 2 – Sand off the sealer
  • Step 3 – Re-stain the furniture
  • Step 4 – Dry it the right way
  • Step 5 – Seal up the furniture

Now, let’s get into details on the steps above and what you will need to get the job done.

Step 1 – Check if the furniture is sealed

Most times, the stained wooden part of furniture is usually sealed. The reason for this is to protect it from damage when exposed to moisture. If the furniture was originally stained by you, you definitely won’t have to guess if it is sealed or not. But if you bought it from a store and are not sure if it is sealed, here is a simple way to tell.  

Run your fingers over the furniture surface and observe if it feels smooth. You should also shine a light on it and see if it appears shiny. If the furniture feels both shiny and smooth, then it’s definitely sealed.

Now you may be tempted to skip this step, but do bear in mind that all furniture appears shiny until you observe it carefully. This is usually the case with non-glossy stains. And if you fail to check and go ahead to re-stain sealed furniture, you would have succeeded in wasting your time and stain because it won’t stick.

Step 2 – Sand off the sealer

There is a little chance that your furniture is without a seal. It’s a common practice for anyone in the business of furniture making to seal off their finished product. And even if you got the furniture from a thrift store, there is a likelihood that it will be sealed.

With that being said, before re-staining your furniture, you should first get rid of the seal. To do this, you will need a wood sander. You can go for an inexpensive and easy-to-use wood sander for beginners. Black and Decker has such wood sander.

Once you have gotten your sander, you will need to protect your hands with a glove, and a protective eyeglass for your eyes. Plug in the sander and run it around the furniture surface gently but consistently. Make sure to apply light pressure while at it.

After the sanding, you still need to give it a fine finish with a sanding sponge. If you go for a sponge with a higher grit of about 220, you will have a fine finish. To get a light sanding, go for a sponge low in grit. Anything 120 and below will do the job.

Step 3 – Re-stain the furniture

Finally, we’ve come to the fun part. It’s time to re-stain that furniture to bring back its vibrancy. To do this, you need to first take the furniture outside. Get your stain and some paintbrushes and you are good to go!

And just a little hint; you don’t need an expensive brush for this job. Reason being that it’s usually a challenge getting rid of all the grease after painting with stain. So, an inexpensive brush that you can dispose of after will be better suited for this.

One more thing, you also need to get a tarp that you will lay on the floor before staining. Tarps are inexpensive and reusable. It makes the job easier with little or no cleanup afterward. Don’t make the mistake of using trash bags instead because when the stain dries, you will find that the trash bag has stuck to the furniture. Some of your stain on the furniture may come off when you want to remove the trash bags.

Now that we’ve gotten that ironed out, you can then go ahead and stain your furniture. As you stain, occasionally stir the stain in the can so that you always have a uniform color.

Step 4 – Dry it the right way

You may wonder why drying is included as a step in this process. Well, drying may seem simple, but there are some things you must look out for when doing so. You see, leaving your furniture outside to dry without properly guarding it might ruin your efforts. Natural elements like rain or wind can change the texture and appearance of your stain.

Wind blowing over your stained furniture can cause the color to appear dull. This is as a result of dust and other particles that may get caught in the drying furniture.

Also, you might not be able to stain all parts of the furniture without first allowing some parts to dry. There may be a need to flip the furniture so that you can reach other places. Doing this will prevent the stain from dripping on the sides of the furniture.

Moreover, if you are not satisfied with the initial coat, you can always re-stain the furniture several times until you get what you want. And all these require that the furniture dries properly at each point in time. Now, you know why drying it the right way is important.

Step 5 – Seal up the furniture

By now, you probably know the importance of sealing your furniture. You don’t want your hard work to be ruined by water, fire, toddler mishandling, scratches from pets, and other things that can come in contact with it.

There are different types of sealers that will help you achieve different results. A white wax sealer can give your furniture a rustic farmhouse or driftwood edge. If you want the real color and beauty of the stain to show, you can go for a clear sealer. Just paint them and allow them to dry and you are done.

If the furniture you stained is small and does not require much sealer, you can go for a spray-on clear sealer. This type of sealer tends to dry faster than the paint-type of sealants.

When shopping for a sealant, if it says “satin,” it means that it gives no or low glass finish. If it says “high gloss” or “semi-gloss,” when you use it on your furniture, it will be very shiny. Feel free to coat the sealant multiple times until you are satisfied with the result. But wait for each coating to dry completely before applying another.

Important tips to note when restaining your furniture

  • 1.      You can combine two stain colors to get a custom stain
  • 2.      Staining works best when staining with a dark stain over a lighter one
  • 3.      Warm stains are great for warming up cool stained furniture
  • 4.      First test your stain on an inconspicuous part of the furniture before going over the whole furniture to be sure you like the result
  • 5.      Staining over varnish, wax, shellac or polyurethane may not stick

Final Thoughts!

Having gone through the process of how to stain furniture that is already stained, you can see that it’s a straightforward process. You don’t need much to carry out this project.

If you have been giving it a thought before now, it’s time to get on with it. We are sure that the result will be all worth it.

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