Bought some unfinished furniture

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Goatee220, Feb 4, 2014.


  1. Goatee220

    Goatee220 Bassist/Goalie Ordinaire Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    My wife and I bought some unfinished furniture over the weekend. It was half the price of finished. I have a little experience with staining some crappy Ikea stuff, but want to put my best foot forward on this stuff.

    Any best practices for finishing furniture I should know? I've watched some videos, etc but figured I'd ask, especially with all the luthiers out there.

    It's made from pine and we plan to do a 2-tone finish, black and cherry/brown to match our table and chairs.
  2. DerHoggz

    DerHoggz I like cats :| Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    Western Pennsylvania
    Take your time whatever you choose to do.
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Seweracuse, NY
    You should probably go with Lake Placid Blue nitro. I hear that the nitro makes it breathe better.
  4. Goatee220

    Goatee220 Bassist/Goalie Ordinaire Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    That color would definitely make it the best dining room furniture for metal.
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. bassteban

    bassteban

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Location:
    Northern California
    A dark finish on soft, light-colored wood will almost certainly chip and ding quickly, revealing ugly scars in the pretty dark stain. Of course, some dig the *distressed*(that's furniture/cabinetmaker talk for *relic'd*)look
  7. P Town

    P Town Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Pine would benefit from the use of "sanding sealer" to even out the density of the color. You can buy it, or make your own. Look it up.
  8. sowilson

    sowilson

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    try your complete finishing schedule on scrap first (i.e. buy some pine). Pine is very prone to being blotchy so I would probably use wash coat of dewaxed shellac before staining.
  9. 1958Bassman

    1958Bassman

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    I have always wanted a couch with haunting midrange.

    To the OP- you're about to learn why finished furniture costs twice as much as unfinished. Preparation is king. It will need to be sanded and knowing where to stop is important. Also, the grit of the paper/type of ScotchBrite is second only to making sure you don't sane against the grain. Then, there's the issue of which type of finish to use, how to apply it, how long to wait before the next step and how to achieve the best results.

    Sure, a lot of the stuff that's pre-finished has some kind of one-step crap sprayed on, allowed to dry and is then shipped out, but that usually looks like it, as in, not very good.
  10. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    G.R. MI
    I did an oak vanity with something that was polyurethane and stain in one. It turned out very nicely. It took 2 or three coats and I had to sand between them.
  11. shadowtippy

    shadowtippy

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    Lake Charles, La.
    Don't forget the tort placemats.
  12. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    I did an unfinished dresser for wifey. It was white oak and the floor sample was uniform in color but once we got ours home and opened it, it was several different shades of color in the wood. I didn't want to chance winding up with a random multi tone stain so I sanded it down nice and put on a couple coats of gloss black enamel. With old brass hardware it turned out nicer than I thought it would.
  13. placedesjardins

    placedesjardins

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Tips?

    Don't paint it outdoors when it is windy and dusty.
    Clean the surface of the wood with mineral spirits to remove human oils and whatever else.
    I used a polyurethane finish with stain color in it for a pine dresser.
    I used a stain on a maple nightstand. Then, I coated it with clear gloss polyurethane twice. Sanded it in between coats.
    I like the Minwax brand.
  14. blastoff99

    blastoff99

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011

    Lots of good advice in this thread, but don't overlook this.
  15. bassteban

    bassteban

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Location:
    Northern California
    As an experienced finisher, this
  16. Goatee220

    Goatee220 Bassist/Goalie Ordinaire Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Already doing that - testing both the process and trying to match stain colors with the furniture we already have in there. Great advice. Thanks everyone!
  17. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    If its being stained to match furnature made from a different species then you may have problems getting an exact match.
  18. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    White Plains
    Sand, sand, sand. The finish is only going to be as good as the prep work
    Once all of the sanding is done use a tack cloth to get ALL of the dust off

    My entire living room and dining room is made up of unfinished furniture. Table and 4 chairs, entertainment center, coffee table, and two end tables. It's tough work, but it's really nice when done well for significantly less money.
  19. sandmangeck

    sandmangeck

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    Check the Luthier section

Share This Page