3. Choosing Refinishing Options for your Vintage Furniture Piece
Before choosing your refinishing material (wood stain vs paint) it is wise to make the decision whether any flaws in your piece will be determining the finish, or if you will be replacing any parts with flaws.
Example: The dresser I am currently working on had a large stain on the surface of the top of the dresser. From just looking at it, I couldn’t determine whether it was a surface flaw (i.e. could be sanded out) or a penetrated flaw ( goes deep below the wood surface) and I would have to replace the top panel in order to fix it.
It turns out the large stain on top of the dresser is penetrated deep into wood. Meaning, unless I plan on painting the piece, the wood panel needs to be replaced in order to fix the issue.
When choosing a finish, it is wise to look at many samples. Paint changes color under different lighting conditions (day lighting, incandescent, fluorescent) and so look at the colors under the lighting you will see it in everyday. If staining, rubbing the wood with a wet rag will show you what the wood looks like with only polyurethane on it. Stain on top of it will change the color from that hue.
I love to use accent colors on pieces. The particular piece I’m working on has some wood trim with a strip that would easily benefit from a contrasting color. I’m thinking of using that for my accent. For less ornate pieces, stencils can add some flair to the piece.