How to Refinish Pine Furniture

Pine is considered a soft wood by composition. When used in furniture, you want to give it a very hard protective finish so it will endure normal wear and use. By painting it or giving it a topcoat of varnish or polyurethane, you will best accomplish this. The most important technique to refinishing a previously finished piece of pine furniture is to properly prepare the surface.

Paint and Polyurethane Preparation

Step 1

Use a commercial stripper to remove the old paint or varnish. Spread the stripping agent on with a brush or wipe it on with a clean rag. Then wait for the chemical action to work.

Step 2

Scrape or wipe away the old finish and residue with a putty knife or rag.

Step 3

Repeat the chemical stripping steps until all the old paint and varnish is removed.

Step 4

Wash the furniture with soap (dishwashing liquid) and water.

Step 5

Rinse the piece thoroughly and allow to dry completely. The grain will be raised after being exposed to water giving it a rough texture. You will then begin a series of sanding or abrasion steps.

Creating a Smooth Sanded Surface

Step 6

Sand the entire exposed surface of the piece with an 80-grit sandpaper. Use a rope sander or scraping tools if necessary to remove troublesome areas of raised grain.

Step 7

Brush away the dust and debris.

Step 8

Repeat the sanding steps using a 120- or 180-grit sandpaper.

Step 9

Repeat the sanding steps using a 220-grit sandpaper.

Step 10

Brush and vacuum away all debris and dust.

Final Painting Steps

Step 11

Use a double-ought (00) section of steel wool and rub the entire surface smooth.

Step 12

Wipe the surface thoroughly with a tack cloth.

Step 13

Apply a quality primer coat before painting.

Step 14

Allow the piece time to dry before painting.

Step 15

Paint with a smoothly brushed coat of enamel or flat paint in a color to your liking. Apply a second coat if desired after the first coat dries.

Final Polyurethane Steps

Step 16

Use a double-ought (00) section of steel wool and rub the entire surface smooth.

Step 17

Wipe the surface thoroughly with a tack cloth.

Step 18

Apply your first coat of polyurethane.

Step 19

Rub the entire surface with a section of quadruple-ought (0000) steel wool after the first coat dries. This puts tiny scratches into the surface to which the polyurethane will adhere. Remove the dust and wipe with a fresh tack cloth.

Step 20

Apply your second coat of polyurethane.

Apply a Third Coat of Polyurethane

Step 21

Use quadruple-ought (0000) steel wool and completely rub the surface again if a third coat is necessary to give you a perfect gloss or matte finish.

Step 22

Apply your third coat of polyurethane finish.

Step 23

Let your furniture dry thoroughly before using it.