LumberJocks

New stain over old stain

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by Travis posted 01-15-2019 04:16 PM 224 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Travis's profile

Travis

69 posts in 32 days


01-15-2019 04:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finish stain

Hello all,

New member, older forum follower :) I’m getting ready to refinish my childhood bunkbed in hopes of breathing some new life into it for my young children. This will be my first refinishing project and I’m looking for some advice. I started by sanding a few of the pieces to eliminate the finish and the stain to get to the pure wood underneath. This took HOURS and after doing some more reading online, I am now suspicious that may not have been good anyway (for example, I read something by Flexner [Popular Woodworking, 2011] which suggested sanding to the raw wood can be damaging, but details were sparse.)

I anticipate I should first strip the finish (probably lacquer based on its age) and I have seen instructions online for how to test and strip the finish. Once I get the finish off appropriately, what do I do with the underlying stain? Can I just stain on top of that, or do I actually need to sand it all away before applying new stain? I believe the original wood is ash. The new stain is not drastically different than the old stain, a little bit more “honey” and perhaps a smidge darker, but actually quite similar. I went ahead and stained the one piece I completely sanded away and while it looks much nicer (smooth, clean finish), color-wise it’s hard to pick it apart from the original pieces.

I was planning on using a water-based poly for the protective finish because that will be easier to apply/clean than an oil-based poly and it is a medium-dark stain, so I don’t think it will look “washed out” from the water-based coating. But, as I said, I’m new to wood finishing in general, so please correct me if I’m wrong.

-- Travis, Arizona


8 replies so far

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

5545 posts in 978 days


#1 posted 01-15-2019 04:27 PM

refinishing does take a lot of time but sounds like you are doing it the right way keep up the good work :<)))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Travis's profile

Travis

69 posts in 32 days


#2 posted 01-15-2019 05:04 PM



refinishing does take a lot of time but sounds like you are doing it the right way keep up the good work :<)))

- GR8HUNTER

Thanks GR8HUNTER!

Any feedback on whether I can stain over old stain or need to completely sand it away before applying new stain?

-- Travis, Arizona

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5202 posts in 2616 days


#3 posted 01-15-2019 05:12 PM

If you have already sanded through the finish, why do you need to strip it?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

8132 posts in 1404 days


#4 posted 01-15-2019 05:40 PM

If the new stain and old stain are similar enough that you can’t tell much difference, as long as the film finish is completely removed, I wouldn’t worry about sanding through all of the old stain. Do a test in a small area that isn’t readily visible though just to be sure there isn’t any unexpected color changes with the new stain over the old.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2090 posts in 2255 days


#5 posted 01-15-2019 06:02 PM

Since you have already stripped part of it, the question is how close do you want all of it to match? If you want perfect match strip all to base wood. If not, then strip the topcoat chemically or mechanically with a card scraper (my preference – go lightly dont remove much of the stain). Can also use sandpaper. Leave the old stain, and use a product called refinsher – a highly volatile and nasty set of chemicals that dissolve the old finish and stain into what becomes a new stain. This step requires excellent ventilation and ppe, but is the quickest and best way to do it. Not all of the existing topcoat needs removed, just 80-90% of it. Otherwise it becomes a thick mess with the refinisher. The beauty of it vs chemical stripper is the stripper has to be removed refinisher doesnt, it evaporates leaving a stained surface.

After a final wipe down with refinisher , stain and topcoat with whatever you want. “Green” safe stripper products just dont work, you have to get nasty to do a good job.

View Travis's profile

Travis

69 posts in 32 days


#6 posted 01-15-2019 07:29 PM



If you have already sanded through the finish, why do you need to strip it?

- bondogaposis

Sorry for the confusion—I completely sanded one of the pieces and part of a second piece (over the course of a full weekend), but still have like 8 pieces to go. After doing some more reading, I wondered if there was a better and/or easier way than completely sanding through the finish and stain to the natural wood for the remaining pieces.

-- Travis, Arizona

View Travis's profile

Travis

69 posts in 32 days


#7 posted 01-15-2019 07:33 PM



If the new stain and old stain are similar enough that you can t tell much difference, as long as the film finish is completely removed, I wouldn t worry about sanding through all of the old stain. Do a test in a small area that isn t readily visible though just to be sure there isn t any unexpected color changes with the new stain over the old.

- HokieKen

Thank you, I will give that a try!

-- Travis, Arizona

View Travis's profile

Travis

69 posts in 32 days


#8 posted 01-15-2019 07:36 PM



Since you have already stripped part of it, the question is how close do you want all of it to match? If you want perfect match strip all to base wood. If not, then strip the topcoat chemically or mechanically with a card scraper (my preference – go lightly dont remove much of the stain). Can also use sandpaper. Leave the old stain, and use a product called refinsher – a highly volatile and nasty set of chemicals that dissolve the old finish and stain into what becomes a new stain. This step requires excellent ventilation and ppe, but is the quickest and best way to do it. Not all of the existing topcoat needs removed, just 80-90% of it. Otherwise it becomes a thick mess with the refinisher. The beauty of it vs chemical stripper is the stripper has to be removed refinisher doesnt, it evaporates leaving a stained surface.

After a final wipe down with refinisher , stain and topcoat with whatever you want. “Green” safe stripper products just dont work, you have to get nasty to do a good job.

- OSU55

I’ve never heard of refinisher. I’ll take a look at that. It sounds a bit more intense (and has the potential to leave a mess if I don’t do it right), so I think I’ll try staining over the old stain on a test piece before I attempt refinisher.

-- Travis, Arizona

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com