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HomeHomes
Published: Wednesday, 11/16/2005

How to finish your floors and furniture like a pro

Refinishing furniture, woodwork and floors is much easier than most people imagine -- you just have to go about it one step at a time.

According to Eric Chaimberg of Swing Paints, the country's leading manufacturer of wood finishing products, professional finishing results can be achieved if you follow several important steps.

Chaimberg says the most important thing to remember is "a good start always means a good finish." And the best way to ensure a good finish is to take your time and prepare the surface properly. Be sure you have all the materials you will need before you start.

Here is a list of items you will need prior to beginning any project:

* Bristle or foam brushes

* Rags or cheese cloth

* Steel wool or synthetic Pads

* Gloves

* Drop cloth

Surface Preparation

Set yourself up in a clean, well-lit area. For previously finished pieces, use a cleaner to remove all dirt, grime, wax and polish from the wood. Any repairs that need to be done such as filling nail holes or dents should be completed after stripping but before sanding and staining.

Sanding

The next step is to lightly sand the wood to provide a smooth uniform surface. "Sand enough to obtain the desired finish smoothness yet not enough to gouge the wood or sand through the veneer," Chaimberg says. Stripping closes the grain of the wood to the penetration of stain and finish. Sanding reopens the grain, evens out any discoloration that may have been left by a previous stain, and erases any scratches or blemishes in the surface.

Finishing

To add a protective finish to your surface, Chaimberg recommends using polyurethane.



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