This article will teach you how to refinish a chair without stripping, among other things, if you’re interested in finding out about the various options available to you. Below, we will go into detail about how petroleum jelly can be used as a replacement for chemical stripping.
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Stripping typically involves the use of methylene chloride stripper, which, in addition to having a foul odor, can cause severe skin irritation. Not only do we provide alternatives to stripping, but we also go into whether you should sand or strip your furniture.
Finally, we’ve included some suggestions for giving your furniture a new coat of paint. Have fun reading!
What Is Furniture Refinishing?
Finishes like as lacquer, varnish, and top coats can be reapplied during the refinishing process (also known as repolishing). The current finish will be removed with a sander, and then one to four fresh layers of the selected finish will be applied by the professional. Refinishing is done so that the item looks like new again after being repaired and enhanced.
Restoration and refinishing are two independent techniques that are sometimes conflated with one another. By “restoration,” we mean fixing minor cosmetic issues, giving anything a quick washing, and replacing any broken or worn out components as needed. Refinishing, on the other hand, is a more extensive procedure that entails removing the fixture’s existing finish using a sander before adding a new one.
Steps In Refinishing A Chair Without Stripping
You will need soap, water, mineral spirits, a sponge, a cloth, petroleum jelly, epoxy, a utility knife, and wipe-on poly for this refinishing project.
Step #1. Clean your furniture
Furniture should be cleaned with soap and water before being refinished. Your furniture is safe to wash. It can point you in the direction of the first steps you need to do.
Step #2. Coat the furniture
After the furniture has dried from being cleaned, a coat of mineral spirits should be applied. Applying mineral spirits to the chair’s surface can let you see any damage more clearly.
Step #3. Use petroleum jelly
Petroleum jelly can be used for more than simply treating scrapes and burns; it can also be used to protect and preserve wood furniture. Water rings on your chair can be removed by applying petroleum jelly and leaving it there overnight. It could be the answer to your problem, but if not, you have options.
Step #4. Epoxy
Epoxy can be used to repair chips in veneer or other damage to your chair. After the epoxy has dried, the chair can be sanded and stained to match the rest of your furniture.
Step #5. Surface issues
Use a utility knife to make diagonal cuts across the dents, then moisten the area. Water will be absorbed by the wood, smoothing out the dent.
Step #6. Wipe-On Poly
Wipe-On Poly can be applied at this point to hide any remaining flaws in the chair’s finish.
How to darken furniture without stripping it
In this section, you will learn how to darken your furniture without resorting to harsh chemicals.
Sandpaper with a grit of 250 to 300, a chip brush, a moderate cleaning solution of vinegar and water, and gel stain are all you need to get started.
Step #1. Sand the chair
To start, sand down the area of the chair you intend to stain. Remove the shine and grime buildup with 250-300 grit sandpaper.
White spots on your chair indicate buildup. The furniture can be sanded to get rid of the white spots.
Step #2. Clean your furniture
For a gentle cleaning solution, try using equal parts water and vinegar to wipe down your chair.
Step #3. Gel stain
To prevent the gel stain from drying too quickly, apply it in small sections with a chip brush. If the color of your chair is not to your liking, you may always paint over it again after the initial coat has dried.
Step #4. Seal
Wipe-On Poly is a protective coating that can be applied to furniture in place of a traditional finish. To prevent the gel stain from being removed off the chair when cleaned, use a spray sealant.
Is it better to sand or strip furniture?
Aside from the unpleasant odor, the chemicals used in stripping can cause serious skin irritation or even burns. It’s a pain to get off, but it goes on smoothly.
In contrast, sanding won’t leave you with any painful burns and doesn’t stink up the place. But it takes too long to complete, and it leaves the room dusty.
In conclusion, each has benefits and drawbacks. Sandpaper is better for finer details, whereas stripper works great on larger areas.
Ways to refinish furniture
When considering whether or not to get rid of your chairs, consider doing more than just stripping, sanding, and staining them.
- Refinishing furniture with wallpaper is an interesting alternative. If you don’t want to paint your chair a different color to draw attention to certain details, you can use wallpaper instead.
- Using decoupage to decorate your chair is quite similar to decorating with wallpaper. This, however, is more complicated because of the cutouts.
- A chair can be refinished in a variety of ways, one of which is with chalk paint, which is simpler to use than regular paint. You, too, can create your own chalk paint. One such blogger is Liz Marie Galvan, whose chalk paint is thick enough to be applied directly to wood.
- The distressed look isn’t just for garments anymore; it can be applied to furniture as well. Spray paint and a sander will do the trick here.
Cost to Refinish Furniture by Material
The average cost to refinish a piece of furniture ranges from $100 to $6,000. The precise cost of refinishing furniture will vary depending on factors such as the item’s size, current condition, and grade of finish. Professionals may charge $40 to $100 an hour, depending on the sort of furniture being moved. Here is an estimate of how much money you may anticipate to spend to restore a standard dining chair from various materials.
Cost to Refinish Wood Furniture
The cost to refinish a single piece of wood furniture can vary anywhere from $100 to $6,000. Most households have many pieces of wood furniture, making wood the most often refinished material. The final price tag for refinishing your wooden furniture will be based on factors such as the piece’s current condition, its dimensions, and the type of finish you choose. The price of the wood itself is the primary consideration. In comparison to mahogany or pine, the price of refinishing teak furniture is higher. This occurs due to the unique nature of the procedure. Walnut requires different steps than cherry or oak, so the cost to refinish each varies. Sanding off the previous finish is the first step in preparing the surface for a new coat of paint or stain.
Refinish Wicker Furniture
The cost to refinish wicker furniture ranges from an average of $125 up to $2000. The first step is to give the item a complete washing with a solution of mild detergent and warm water, using a soft-bristled brush that won’t scratch the surface. The contractor cleans it, then fixes any damage, and finally paints it twice. The final step is to apply a protective sealant, such as a clear varnish or polyurethane.
Refinish Metal Furniture
The primary element in the price to refinish a metal furniture piece is the size of the piece, which can range from $200 to $3,000. Refinishing metal furniture is done in a somewhat different manner than wood and wicker. Sandblasting is a common method for removing rust and other imperfections from metal. After cleaning, a powder coating comprising polymer resins, colours, curatives, and flow modifiers will be applied. The powder, which resembles flour, is sprayed onto the surface and then heated to cure it and create a strong connection.
Cost to Refinish Furniture by Item
The cost of refinishing an item might be anywhere from $100 to $6,000. Everything from little accent pieces like stools and end tables to large furniture like china cabinets can be restored. The size and level of detail of the item are the primary determinants of its final price. Prices for refinishing vary depending on the piece’s size, with smaller things costing less than their larger counterparts. The greater the level of craftsmanship and attention to aesthetics, the higher the price tag. The prices for refinishing the various items are listed in the table below.
From $100 to $400, give or take, is the average cost to refinish a single chair. Chairs are among the most often refinished furniture items, but because there are so many different styles, prices can range widely. For more intricate builds, the contractor will need to exercise caution when working near the arms, rails, legs, cross stretcher, apron, and back splash. All of them could have handcrafted components that need extra care and attention, driving up the overall price of the project.
Refinish Rocking Chair
A rocking chair refurbishing job can cost anything from $200 to $450. Rocking chairs are significantly more expensive to restore than dining chairs due to their more intricate design. A contractor refinishing a rocking chair would need to use the same degree of caution as when working on any other type of chair, particularly around the rocker’s headrest, flat spindle, armrest, arm, and back legs. In some instances, disassembly of screwed-together components may be required of the contractor.
Refinishing End Tables
End table refinishing might cost anything from $200 to $700.00. To complement a larger piece, such as a sofa, end tables are often used. They are typically used as laptop tables, with space for a cup of coffee, a magazine, and some snacks, and their height is roughly equivalent to the arm of a chair. The process of refinishing an end table is identical to that of a coffee or dining table. The straightforward construction of most end tables, however, makes this operation significantly quicker.
Cost to Refinish Coffee Table
It will cost you $250 to refinish a simple coffee table, and $800 to refinish a designer or elaborately detailed table. It doesn’t matter what kind of table you have, the procedure for refinishing it is the same. The size is the determining factor. Because of their smaller size, coffee tables are more affordable to restore. As before, the contractor would use the same methods to refinish it. They would strip off the existing coating, sand the surface, make any necessary repairs, and then apply a new coating.
Refinish TV Stand
To refinish a TV stand can run you anything from $250 to $800. Many modern TV stands are relics from the days when TV boxes were much larger and mounting options were limited to the wall. This means that the majority of the furniture you’ll be repairing is likely to be quite ancient. Refinishing a model with intricate woodwork or hand-detailed components can be more expensive.
Refinish Closet Doors
Refinishing closet doors might run you anything from $250 to $1,000. Closet doors are usually very easy to restore. Simple, flat designs are less expensive and more convenient to refinish. However, artwork and embellishments on closet doors might make refinishing a more involved job. Similarly, the cost to refinish an antique wardrobe will be higher than that of a modern wardrobe because of the worth and complexity of the garment’s design.
Costs for refinishing a bookcase range from $300 for simple, compact versions with a few shelves to $1,200 for more elaborate options with many shelves. Due to its generally simplistic form and construction, bookcases make for an easy DIY refinishing project. Sanding down the existing finish, filling up the dents, scratches, or divots, and applying the new finish are all steps common to refinishing any wood product. Antique reproductions will cost more since their intricate woodwork necessitates skilled hands and careful attention to detail.
Refinish Chest of Drawers
The cost to refinish a chest of drawers can range from $300 to $1,300. Dimensions play a significant role in the overall cost of drawer refinishing. The more storage space (drawers) you need, the greater the cost. A professional will start by taking out the drawers before moving on to the handles, knobs, closures, and anything else that has to be removed before the item is refinished. Following a thorough cleaning, they plan to sand off the existing finish.
Refinishing a dresser will set you back anything between $300 and $1,800. Since the design is so close to that of a chest of drawers, the procedure and cost are also very comparable. But most drawers were made decades ago, making these pieces largely antique with detailed woodwork that is more expensive to repair. Dressers also feature more intricate embellishments, drawers, handles, and knobs, so disassembling and repainting the entire piece will take more time.
Refinish Bed Frame
The typical cost to refinish a bed frame is between $300 and $2,100. The bed frame will be more expensive to refurbish if it is constructed from high-quality hardwood. Before beginning any work, either you or the contractor will need to remove the bed’s sheets, mattress, and box spring. In some cases, the contractor may dismantle the bed frame to ensure a thorough and even cleaning of all areas. After disassembling the bed frame, the contractor will strip it, sand it, and then apply a fresh finish.
It costs anything from $350 to $1,500 per sofa to reupholster it if the fabric is off because of the wide variety of sofa sizes and constructions. The couch may have only a few wooden accents, in which case the refinishing process need only focus on those regions. In other cases, though, the entire wooden structure may be included. Because of the disassembly required for the refinishing process, it is common practice to reupholster a couch at the same time. Different coatings and upholstery materials can completely transform the look and feel of a sofa when done simultaneously.
Costs for desk refinishing range from $350 for a tiny individual desk to $5,000 for a large partner’s desk. Many desks contain elaborate decorations and handcrafted elements that are difficult to refinish, contributing to the broad price range. Refinishing the surface is straightforward, but extreme caution must be taken around the intricate details to prevent damage.
Refinishing a Hutch
Spend between $600 and $2,100 to refurbish a hutch. Hutches come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, so the cost to refinish yours could vary. Like dressers, bookcases, and china cabinets, the hutch would require the contractor to take extra time to disassemble the pieces, sand each one individually, and then apply the new finish.
Cost to Refinish Dining Table
The price to refinish a dining room table ranges from $ 500 to $2 400. Most dining tables can be refinished, but it might not be worth it if there is extensive damage that necessitates replacing multiple sections. Since wood is used to make the vast majority of tables, the process would require sanding off the old finish, making any necessary repairs, and then adding a new finish.
Refinish China Cabinet
Refinishing China Cabinets Can Cost You $700 to $3,500. Cabinet refinishing costs are heavily influenced by the quality of the materials used and the total number of cabinets that need attention. China cabinets feature some of the most intricate woodwork and craftsmanship, making them quite expensive to repair. Before sanding and refinishing the cabinet, the contractor will take out the doors, shelves, details, and hardware.
Armoires cost between $1,000 and $3,000 to restore, making them one of the most costly furniture items to refurbish. Refinishing an armoire is a terrific way to save money while bringing it back to its original state. The first step in the refurbishing process is for the professional to dismantle the armoire and remove any hardware and other components. The surface will be sanded down using sandpaper that has a bigger grid and any cracks will be filled with wood filler to create a smooth, level surface that is ready for finishing. The contractor will retighten all slack fasteners and replace any that are missing in the armoire.
Refinish Dining Room Set
The average cost to refinish a dining room set is between $1,000 and $6,000. Refinishing the entire set is more cost-effective than refinishing the individual pieces. Discounts will be offered by the contractor depending on the number of objects that can be refinished at once and their compatibility with one another. Be sure to inquire about a price cut for refinishing the entire set at once.
Furniture Refinishing Prices by Method
Costs range from $80 for sealing to $3,000+ for reupholstery, all depending on the chosen method. Restoration of furniture can be accomplished in a number of ways, the most frequent of which is stripping and refinishing. Particular materials and tasks call for particular approaches. Many jobs need for a combination of refurbishing techniques. Here are some ballpark figures for several refurbishing options.
Sealing furniture can cost anything from $80 to $300. The final finish, including stains and varnishes, will go on more uniformly if the surface is sealed beforehand. It helps keep the stain and filler from soaking through, provides a solid foundation for the final coat, and refines the surface texture. If the fixture is finished with shellac, lacquer, or natural varnish, white shellac sealer is used to protect the finish. If white shellac sealer is not available, a commercial sanding sealer or a thinned mixture of the same finish is used.
Powder Coat Furniture
The typical cost of powder coating an item is from $100 to $350. It’s a powdery substance that contains polymer resins, colors, curatives, and flow modifiers. Powder coating is most commonly used on metal, although it can also be applied on plastic, MDF, and other types of wood as well as metals such as wrought iron and aluminum. Powder coating is a terrific long-term investment because of how robust and durable it is as a finish. Although the initial investment is greater, the process is more time-consuming and costly due to the need for specialized equipment and the length of time needed for curing.
Furniture Stripping Cost
Removing furniture might run you between $100 and $400. This method, sometimes known as “dip and strip,” involves removing old paint, varnish, lacquer, and rust with a chemical stripper, wiping and scraping away the sludge, and then applying a new coat of paint. Chemical strippers come in a variety of forms, including liquid, gel, spray, semi-paste, and paste. They are often employed because of their efficiency in removing paint and varnish. Stripping is a messy process that takes persistence until the stripper reaches the underlying wood or metal. The potential presence of lead in paint that is older than 40 years is a further health concern when peeling such paint.
The typical price to stain furniture is between $100 and $500. Before applying stain, a contractor will take off any hardware (hinges, knobs, and decorative pieces) that will not be sanded. Once the paint or lacquer has been removed, a sander is used to smooth the surface of the furniture. Next, a microfiber staining pad or brush is used to spread the stain evenly across the furniture. Occasionally, they go back and wipe off the excess so that the object doesn’t end up with blotchy patches, and then they wait for it to dry before applying a protective coating.
Refacing costs $300-$800 per item or $210-$750 per linear foot for cabinets, which is significantly higher than the cost of refinishing. It’s difficult to draw parallels between refacing and refinishing because the processes are so distinct. Furthermore, the contractor would scrape the surface, sand it, apply a new stain, and repaint it. In contrast to refinishing, this process will only affect the visible portions of the fixture or their exteriors.
Refinish Furniture Cost
Depending on the type of furniture being refinished, the average cost might range from $600 to $1,200. Rather than spending a ton of money on a whole new one, you can simply have the old one refinished to give it a fresh, modern look. Even though some materials, like broken glass, can only be mended or replaced, refinishing is possible for the vast majority of materials. Fixes, reupholstering, and replacements can be done at the same time as refinishing if necessary.
A sofa can be reupholstered for an average of $750 to $3,500. Padding, springs, webbing, and fabric or leather covers are typical components. In most cases, the first step in upholstery is an examination of the item to be reupholstered to figure out the best approach. Afterwards, the upholstery is taken off, the damage is fixed, and the upholstery is reapplied by stitching and stapling it into place. It’s a terrific method for giving upholstered furniture like sofas and chairs a facelift.
Labor Cost to Refinish Furniture
The cost of labor accounts for roughly 85%, or $650, of the total cost to refinish, while the cost of materials accounts for the remaining 15%, or $150. Prices for such projects are usually quoted on a flat rate basis, but if billed on an hourly basis, they range from $40 to $100. The time required to refinish furniture varies from piece to piece, but in general, it takes between three and eight weeks to receive your furniture back. This would include the time required to remove the old finish, make any necessary repairs, apply the new finish, and let it cure.
Cleaning the surface to remove dust, grime, and particles is the first stage in refinishing. Professional refinishers know how to get rid of white spots and paint overspray without harming the existing surface. After the area has been thoroughly cleaned, the expert will use epoxy putty to repair any missing or damaged veneer, material, or molding. As soon as the primary damage has been repaired, your contractor will sand off the previous finish. A belt and disk sander will suffice for flat surfaces, but sandpaper will be needed for sections with decorative elements or that are difficult to access.
The contractor restores the smooth and shining appearance by filling the grains and cracks in the surface and then sealing the entire piece. Finally, the expert will apply anywhere from one to four coats of the new finish, which could be lacquer, polyurethane, water-based polyurethane, or oil-based. Once applied, the finish protects the wood from moisture and adds a beautiful sheen to the piece of furniture.
Furniture Refinishing and Upholstery
Upholsterers are experts in the field of upholstering. Couches, sofas, and chairs typically have their upholstery replaced at the same time that they are refinished. Two experts can do it, or one expert can do it if they have enough experience. This will make sure that the restored wood and the upgraded upholstery are entirely cohesive.
Refinishing Antique Furniture
It is recommended that you hire a professional if you have an antique object that needs refinishing. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s simple to ruin the piece’s form or design due to its age and complexity. Refinishing an antique typically costs 20%-50% more than refinishing a modern piece, depending on the piece’s condition. This is due to the fact that the professional refinisher must exercise greater caution while working on antiques in order to protect the original wood.
Is It Worth It to Refinish Furniture?
Refinishing furniture might be a terrific choice sometimes, but it can also be a complete waste of time and money other times. Refinishing furniture is a frequent way to extend the life of an expensive piece of decor while maintaining its solid build and worth. Refinishing wood furniture is a worthwhile investment because it extends the life of the piece and keeps it looking great over time, especially if the wood is of high quality. It’s a good idea to restore your antique furniture to bring out its natural charm. When done properly, furniture retains its worth and may even appreciate.
While refinishing is often performed, there are times when it is not recommended. If the piece of furniture can’t be fixed, this is what would happen. Refinishing it may not be a good idea if it requires too many new parts, making restoration excessively costly. If the piece of furniture is brand new and can be replaced for the same or a lower price, it is not a good idea to refinish it.
After the refinishing work is finished, the contractor will likely give you some advice on how to keep it in good condition. If you’ve refinished an item and want to keep it looking fresh, you’ll need to give it a little TLC every now and then. Normal care entails a gentle cleaning with dish soap and warm water. If you don’t want to scratch the finish or harm the top coat, avoid using rough materials. Avoid exposing the light to elements like cold and rain.
Oil-finished fixtures are less of a maintenance hassle. Surfaces can be cleaned using either a dry cloth or one dampened with a solution of warm water and mild detergent. Simply sand the area and add extra oil if there are any minor cosmetic defects in the finish. Oiling the whole thing from time to time will keep it looking fresh and new. Applying wax to a surface makes it more resistant to wear.
Furniture Repair Cost
The cost of restoration might vary from as little as $4 per inch for wicker fixtures to as much as $2,000 per glass panel. When fixing a fixture, it’s common practice to refinish it as well, so that it looks as good as new. It will also make the item last longer without needing any additional maintenance or repairs. Glass and leather, for example, cannot be refinished after being damaged; in such cases, repair or replacement is the only option. Here is a breakdown of the average costs to fix popular materials and objects.
Wicker Furniture Repair
To fix a wicker fixture will cost you anywhere from $4 per inch for standard reweaving with commercially available materials to $20 per inch for a rare and labor-intensive hand-twisted weaving technique using all-natural fibers. When repairing torn or frayed fabric, it is common practice to reweave the affected portions. The cost to repair a wicker item depends on several factors, including the size of the item, the extent of the damage, and the material and method utilized to do the repair.
Metal Furniture Repair
Metal fixture repairs can cost anywhere from $7 per linear foot for painting to $32 per linear foot for restoring twisted or wobbly sections. Metal patio furniture left outside for an extended period of time can rust and require refinishing. Even though metal fixtures can be polished, repairs are usually necessary for locations where the metal has lost its shape or is dented. Rust, missing or loose pieces, holes, twisting, and warping are the most frequently encountered forms of damage that necessitate maintenance. Typically, the contractor will blast, repair, and prime the item before handing it back to you.
Leather Furniture Repair Cost
High-end leather can cost as much as $750 or more per hide to repair. Because leather can never be polished, any fixture that begins to show signs of age and wear will require new components to restore it to its original appearance. Although it is one of the most costly materials to fix, the 5-25 year lifespan makes it worthwhile. Pieces of leather from an animal’s skin (sometimes called the hide) are used to repair the broken parts.
Wood Furniture Repair
Depending on the level of damage, the cost to repair wooden fixtures can range from $100 up to $500. Depending on the severity of the damage, wooden items may need to be repaired or replaced entirely. Wood repair kits can help with small damage, such as scratches, but for more extensive damage or for restoring antiques, a professional approach is recommended.
Glass Furniture Repair
The average cost to fix a broken window is between $200 and $500. However, depending on the object you wish to restore, the price may rise to $2,000 or more. As a result of its composition, glass fixtures can only be repaired, not refinished. UV glue, epoxy resin, or glazing the glass area are common methods of restoration, and anything that can’t be refinished or repaired is typically replaced.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Furniture Cleaning Cost
Cleaning upholstered furniture often costs between $105 and $215. The removal of all stains, smells, and smudges from upholstered items typically necessitates the services of a professional cleaner. It’s useful for keeping your furniture in pristine shape. When performed alongside refinishing, it restores a piece’s brand new appearance. Cleaning upholstery is beneficial not only to its appearance but also to one’s health. Cleaning the upholstery is an effective way to remove bacteria, allergies, and other potentially hazardous contaminants.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- DIY. The refinishing job can be done on your own if you already own the required tools and supplies. However, if the item is intricately built or old, it’s best to use a specialist who is familiar with working with such items. Do-it-yourself chemical stripping is not something you want to attempt if you have no background working with chemicals.
- Estimates. The price of refinishing services varies by item and by contractor. Make sure you shop around and receive at least three quotes from different companies before making a final decision. This way, you can rest assured that you are receiving the highest quality service at the most competitive rate.
- Color. You should expect to pay more if you want to match an existing stain but don’t know the fixture’s manufacturer or color code.
- Urgent needs. Refinishing typically takes between three and eight weeks to complete, therefore urgent requests should be made with that in mind. If so, the compensation will be far more than for typical work.
Is it cheaper to refinish furniture or buy new?
As a general rule, refinishing is more cost-effective than replacing an item. The only time this isn’t the case is if you buy something used or if the item is significantly damaged but still manufactured at a low price.
How much does it cost to refinish tables and chairs?
Refinishing a chair can run you between $100 and $400, while a dining table can cost you between $500 and $2,400. The cost of refinishing a full dining set can range from $1,000 to $6,000, depending on how many pieces you want to have redone.
Is it better to sand or strip furniture?
Although stripping can be completed more quickly, it is typically a nasty task, and most people prefer to sand the fixture instead. Time-wise, they’re equivalent, but the sanding is more labor-intensive than the stripping. Refinishing with paint older than 40 years is risky due to the presence of lead, which can be removed by sanding.
Do I need to remove all stains before restaining?
A new, darker stain can be applied over the existing one without stripping the fixture altogether. The only way to guarantee the fresh stain will penetrate the wood, however, is to get rid of everything that might get in the way beforehand.
How can I refinish my furniture without sanding?
Chemical strippers are another method for refinishing furniture. The chemical stripper is applied liberally to the surface of the fixture and left for the time specified in the manual. All of the paint and finish can be removed using the chemical solvent.
If you made it this far, you probably learned more than just how to refinish a chair without peeling the old finish. You’ve learned not just how to refinish furniture in novel ways, but also how to darken it without resorting to stripping.