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Hello!

I recently purchased this old dry sink to use as a coffee station. I am in the process of refinishing it, but was wondering if anyone might be able to tell me what type of wood it is? Also, it has MANY coats of paint on the "sink" part, so I'd welcome any tips for getting the little bits out of the corners! I've already used Citri-strip all over it once (and like 19 times on the inside).
 

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I think the wood is hickory.

Citristrip is about the most worthless excuse for stripper on the market. It appears the varnish type finish on the outside is still there and I would recommend stripping all of it again. A finish penetrates into the wood and if you don't get it all off you may have trouble getting the stain uniform. If I had it I would strip it with Klean Strip remover and rinse it with a power washer. As long as you use a power washer 1500 psi or lower it won't hurt the wood and will get that paint out of the corners you are having trouble with. It will also get the paint out of the grain on open grained woods. Sometimes this is difficult to see until you stain it and see little white marks where the grain is.
 

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Thank you! I think the outside may have been coated with one of the gel, all in one products. I can't say for sure, but it wasn't paint and whatever it was it coated the hardware, too. I saw the paint in the grain you mentioned. After a lot of sanding I wiped it down with mineral spirits and there was a lot of paint left on the inside.

As far as the pressure washer, I am a little worried because some of the veneer is lifting on the front. Should I just do those spots by hand?

Whenever I get it clean, would you recommend a wood conditioner? I've read some woods take stain better with it, but I'm too inexperienced to know for sure!
 

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Thank you! I think the outside may have been coated with one of the gel, all in one products. I can't say for sure, but it wasn't paint and whatever it was it coated the hardware, too. I saw the paint in the grain you mentioned. After a lot of sanding I wiped it down with mineral spirits and there was a lot of paint left on the inside.

As far as the pressure washer, I am a little worried because some of the veneer is lifting on the front. Should I just do those spots by hand?

Whenever I get it clean, would you recommend a wood conditioner? I've read some woods take stain better with it, but I'm too inexperienced to know for sure!
If the veneer is loose there is the potential of damage using a power washer. I sometimes work some water resistant glue under the veneer and pass an iron over it to accelerate the drying time. If you can go over it and tap your finger nails without any hollow sounding spots you should be safe with the power washer. It's just the most important thing you can do is free the wood of the paint if you plan to stain. It's nearly impossible to get all the paint off by sanding. It leaves you in a position of having to mix some paint the color of the stain and brush over the paint. It's just very difficult to get the right color to make these spots go away.

If you do strip the piece by hand again you might use a brass brush on it going with the grain. It may dig out some of the paint out of the grain.

I don't use bought wood conditioners so I would have difficulty recommending one. A lot of members here have said the Charles Neil Blotch Control is a good one. All I've ever used is a 50/50 mixture of linseed oil and mineral spirits and allow it to dry. The bought conditioners vary on instructions so which ever one you choose be sure to read and follow the instructions.
 

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Hello all! I am back on this refinishing job, and wondered if anyone could weigh in on the wood prep I have done so far. I did end up stripping the entire thing again using Klean Strip, and rinsing it by hand with steel wool and mineral spirits. I have also sanded the entire thing a lot starting with 100 grit and then 150. It looks MUCH better, but there is still some variation in the color. I took a small drawer out, sanded it with 220, and then rubbed some boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits (50/50) on it. These pics show my small test piece. There is still some slight blotchiness to it, and I am wondering if that is common with this type of wood or if I just need to do more sanding.

Any input would be greatly appreciated! I was planning to stain this a darker color, but I kind of like how it looks with the 50/50 mix applied. Could I just apply that and seal it?

Thanks so much!
 

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I don't know if it's the age of the piece or the citristrip or the sanding but it seems to blotchy before you put the wood conditioner on it. It might help if it were sanded more with coarse paper to bring out new wood.
 

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It appears to me that there may still be some. Mineral spirits in the grain causing the blotchiness.

After cleaning with mineral spirits, allow it to evaporate, and then use some denatured alcohol and a clean cotton rag liberally on the surface to remove any residue from the spirits. Allow the alcohol to evaporate for at least 1 hour, and make certain the piece is fully dry before finishing.

Mineral spirits will dilute the color, and prevent the stain or BLO from absorbing evenly.

Note that the alcohol will deepen the ability of the stain or finish to darken the surface, so do a test piece first to make sure you still like the color. (if these are drawer fronts, you can use the back of the front to experiment, as it will be hidden by the drawer box once reinstalled. This is also a good place to note the color used, the date of refinish, your name, and month and year.

Always sign your projects and try to include pertinent information as well. It never gets lost or forgotten this way!
 

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I don't know if it's the age of the piece or the citristrip or the sanding but it seems to blotchy before you put the wood conditioner on it. It might help if it were sanded more with coarse paper to bring out new wood.
Thanks for taking a look! I thought it may need more sanding, but I suspect it is a pretty old piece of furniture. In some spots, I can tell there is some natural variation and in others it's not. I will try sanding it all some more and start with maybe 80 grit? I really want to do a nice job on this (even for a rookie!).
 

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It appears to me that there may still be some. Mineral spirits in the grain causing the blotchiness.

After cleaning with mineral spirits, allow it to evaporate, and then use some denatured alcohol and a clean cotton rag liberally on the surface to remove any residue from the spirits. Allow the alcohol to evaporate for at least 1 hour, and make certain the piece is fully dry before finishing.

Mineral spirits will dilute the color, and prevent the stain or BLO from absorbing evenly.

Note that the alcohol will deepen the ability of the stain or finish to darken the surface, so do a test piece first to make sure you still like the color. (if these are drawer fronts, you can use the back of the front to experiment, as it will be hidden by the drawer box once reinstalled. This is also a good place to note the color used, the date of refinish, your name, and month and year.

Always sign your projects and try to include pertinent information as well. It never gets lost or forgotten this way!
Thanks for the tips! When I cleaned off the Klean strip with mineral spirits, I did let it dry and then sanded it a lot over two days. The wood seemed extremely dry to me, and I tried the 50/50 mix on this test piece to see if it would help even out the tone a bit. Hopefully I can get it to even out more with some more sanding.

I will definitely note the details of the refinishing as you suggested. Let's just hope it doesn't look awful in the end!
 
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