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Refinishing cedar chest

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Forum topic by Gixxerjoe04 posted 06-04-2014 04:31 PM 744 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1042 days


06-04-2014 04:31 PM

So my friend asked me if I could refinish a cedar chest she has and stain it dark to match her other furniture. I’ve never refinished anything but don’t think it’s out of my abilities so I said why not. Just looking for any insight or potential problems I might encounter. After reading some articles and looking at the piece, using a chemical stripper would be better than trying to stain it off. My assumption on doing things at the moment. Take off hinges(there’s a key lock on the front but don’t know if it has screws to come off), use some kind of stripper to get the majority of finish off. Sand it smooth, stain and add polyurethane leaving the inside bare. Am I going on the right path? She doesn’t need it done for a couple weeks so still going to read up and might buy somethhing crappy at a yardsale or goodwill to practice on first. Here are some pics of it.


4 replies so far

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HerbC

1592 posts in 2324 days


#1 posted 06-07-2014 07:42 AM

Do a test using lacquer thinner to see if the existing finish is lacquer. If it is you can use lacquer thinner to remove the finish, followed by sanding.

If it’s not lacquer, it might be shellac. Use denatured alcohol to test and if it’s shellac remove it with alcohol.

If it’s a varnish you’ll probably have to use stripper and then clean up with sanding…

Good luck!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1042 days


#2 posted 06-07-2014 03:56 PM

Hmm, it’s really old, the finish doesn’t seem thick like laqouer, she said it was her great grandfathers. Def don’t want to mess it up but it has seen better days. Might try the denatured alcohol first and go from there.

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HerbC

1592 posts in 2324 days


#3 posted 06-07-2014 09:27 PM

Ummmmm…..

just get a small amount of the solvent and try it in an out of the way location. Neither solvent will mess anything up if the finish is not the one for which the solvent is intended.

If it’s BLO or some other “oil” finish, not sure, probably tri using mineral spirits to lift a lot of the finish…

Good Luck!

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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dhazelton

2325 posts in 1762 days


#4 posted 06-07-2014 09:59 PM

If it’s shellac (which is an old finish) you can remove it with ammonia as well (but just as a test – ammonia fumes will knock you out so fast….).

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