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Discussion Starter #1
I want to attempt refinishing a nice table I got at a discount. There are some small scratches, swirl marks, etc and every time I clean it it's like polishing a turn. The stain is black. Not sure if its wood or veneer. Whats the best way to go about this? I've never done anything like this before and need some advise. I plan on taking my time and doing it right. I first thought I would go nuts on it with an orbital sander but then I saw some videos online of people stripping the finishes off.

Can someone tell me how I should go about this? I'll also need some advice on getting a new stain back on. In terms of matching the color, its near black so it should be too hard to get it to look good. If you could recommend specific products that have worked for you on similar projects, that would be nice too.

Thanks!
 

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Sandpaper?
 

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Refinishing dark table

Sandpaper as said by jlhaslip or some sort of gelled or liquid wood stripper.

I then would use a black gelled wood stain. Length of time left on wood before you wipe off should determine color depth. I would definitely do a test maybe on the bottom of the piece to make sure you are going to be able to get the color you want.

Then either apply a lacquer or poly over the top.

Harry
 

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a couple of things to add. I would use a stripper first to remove any clear coat that is on there. this will save you some time and money on sandpaper, because the finish will clog up the sandpaper rather fast. Once you have stripped everything that you can possibly get off, depending on which brand you buy you might want to wait for the wood to dry before you start to sand. I would try to use a sharp scraper on the flat surfaces 1st and see how you make out. If you do sand, you need to be careful with a few things. If it is a veneer, do not sand through it. Veneer is usually very thin, so be careful with any mechanical sanding. If you use a orbital sander you should sand through all the grits, starting with 80g and up to 150 or 220. dont skip grits because you will get swirl marks from the orbital. At first glance you may not see them but they are magnified once you apply a dark stain. I hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. I found out that the wood is solid rosewood so no danger of veneer.


With regard to sanding with an orbital, must I go thru all the grits if I have a random orbital? I used it on a little bench and it seemed to leave no marks whatsoever but it's not stained. Just wanted to clarify.
 

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rosewood. Pretty nice. The answer is yes. That is where people make the mistake. you will not see the swirls marks until you stain it. Trust me. If you want to do it right,like you mentioned, i say hit it with a minimum of 80g-100-150 for better results you can go even further or more in between but at least go with this. Even with a random sander. The small scratches will fill with stain if they arent taking completely out. try it on a sample and you will see what i am talking about
 

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rosewood. Pretty nice. The answer is yes. That is where people make the mistake. you will not see the swirls marks until you stain it. Trust me. If you want to do it right,like you mentioned, i say hit it with a minimum of 80g-100-150 for better results you can go even further or more in between but at least go with this. Even with a random sander. The small scratches will fill with stain if they arent taking completely out. try it on a sample and you will see what i am talking about

if i'm staining a piece i plan on taking time to sand by hand cause you're right, those little scratches totaly ruin the finish
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I picked up a wood working and finishing book and I'm reading them cover to cover. I always wanted to get into woodworking so I don't have any problems doing things the right way. Plus, its a really nice table. I read that I may need to wet the surface to expose the whiskers and sand those puppies down before I apply a finish. I imagine that's where the final hand sanding would come in?

I'm still wondering if a complete refinish is necessary. Not sure how effective various products will be. Seems almost magical to think that I could rub something on its finish and have it look good. I'll see if I can get a picture up here.
 

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The idea is to begin work on an extremely even and clean surface.

As those above have stated, orbital sanders leave swirl marks. After you've run through the grits to your desired roughness, the last sanding should be done with a pad sander or by hand in the direction of the grain. This will organize the grain in the right direction and you will avoid swirls.

After final sanding, definitely wipe it down with a tack cloth or a rag very lightly dampened in water or mineral spirits. This well pick up loose particles that you can't get with a dry cloth. Wait a minute for any moisture to evaporate before you get going.

no experience with rosewood btw

Nick
 
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