Bed Refinishing #1: Considering First Finishing Project - dark stained contemporary bed refinishing!

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Blog entry by AaronG posted 07-02-2013 01:22 PM 2522 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Bed Refinishing series no next part

Hi all,
I am here after watching a few wood whisperer videos on youtube, and saw he recommended this place! The first draft of this post was made as a forum post a few weeks back; I have changed it slightly based on information given to me then. It was recommended I turn it into a blog so here goes.

I have become more and more interested in woodwork over the last couple of years, I find myself regularly daydreaming about trying to make this or that simple item to start (window boxes/chopping boards/simple futon base/chicken run for allotment). Similarly, I have found myself eyeing up old pieces of furniture thinking ‘if I could refinish that, it would look fantastic, and I could afford to buy and live with it(!)’

At the moment it is the refinishing that I want to try first. I have a couple of projects in mind. I am intending practicing any techniques/processes I need to use on other bits of scrap wood whilst trying these early projects as I go along. I will post my progress on here, maybe it will in turn help others…

My brother recently gave me a bed for the flat into which I am about to move. The bed isn’t actually in all that bad condition really (maybe best described as a little ‘tired’). My thinking is that because it isn’t it that bad a condition to begin with, maybe it will be a straightforward project to fix up and get good results from, but I realise this might be wrong!

So, there are a few pictures of the bed below, and here are my initial questions:

1. Is it correct that this is some kind of pine? This wood isn’t too heavy.
2. I believe that before figuring out how to refinish the stain I need to know what sort of stain is on it! Can anybody help me figure out what it on it at the moment (so I can research how best to refresh it)?

3. My initial thinking (put in the most simple terms) is that some combination of stain removal, sanding/rubbing down with wire wool (for instance to smooth dents), then restaining, is the approach to take with this. (I am not looking to change the colour of the stain, just to refresh it). Would anybody agree or disagree with this? I wIll come up with a detailed plan later.

Finally, let me say that the pictures I have taken aren’t of the most damaged parts of the finish. The first picture, of the vertical post, show the type of wear there is on the frame – dents and scratches really, but the other pictures don’t relect the volume of ‘damage’ there is. (From the pictures the bed looks better than it actually does!
I am not too concerned with justifying the cost of the refinishing v. the % improvement made, I am concerned with having getting good results and having a good experience I can take forward to future projects

Thanks very much


(Also please note i am currently not online every day, but will endeavour to reply to all comments/suggestions)

1 comment so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5702 posts in 2836 days

#1 posted 07-02-2013 05:57 PM

If it is commercially made, the finish is likely oil based stain with catalyzed lacquer.
Note that you will have to remove ALL of the finish and stain. If any stain or finish remains in the corners and edges, it will not look right.

The amount of work to successfully refinish a bed is similar to making a bed from scratch.

The wood is a softwood, probably fir or pine.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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