How to stain and refinish wood

Hi friends! So, I’ve been preparing this week to go home to ARIZONA for a few weeks!!! I am beyond excited and I can’t wait to see my family and friends and my bloggy, crafty, bestie, Savannah! I basically have tomorrow to clean my house and pack since I leave Thursday super duper early in the morning. Anyone have any travel tips or ideas for flying alone with 3 kids under age 4?? 
Needless to say, this week has already been crazy so I decided to give myself a little break and share this tutorial with you on staining furniture. I was totally intimidated by staining before I tried it and on my first try, totally failed… so I was even more intimidated. Then, I did a bunch of research, tried again and voila! I’m basically an expert now! 😉 haha! 

Here’s my rendition of “How to Stain Furniture” 

I tried staining before and was totally disheartened. I didn’t really know what I was doing and just went for it. Guess what happened?? TOTAL FAIL!! I didn’t sand enough and it all bubbled and looked awful! 🙁 Oh well, live and learn!

I’ve been researching and watching videos and experimenting with the stain and I’ve got a good method going on! I am loving how this dresser turned out. I am also toying with the idea of using Dark Wax on the detail and Clear waxing the whole thing.
Here is my method for staining. I have used advice from many different sources, mostly  Minwax sites and some videos. 
Here’s how it breaks down:
You will need:
80 grit sand paper
120 grit sand paper 
electric sander (optional but HIGHLY recommended)
Disposable or rubber gloves
Clean rag/hand towel that you don’t mind ruining bc it WILL be RUINED when you’re done with it 🙂
A good stain (I used Minwax Wood Finish in Dark Walnut – my favorite dark stain! It’s gorgeous.
A staining brush
Either polyacrylic, polyurethane or clear wax
  1. First I took my sander (got it for $29 at WalMart-who knew they were so inexpensive! Worth all 2,988 pennies). You can get one here. I used 80 grit sanding discs to sand the entire top down to the bare wood.  To give you an idea, the top of my dresser it took about an hour to sand the whole thing down to the bare wood.  This was the most time consuming part but it is VERY IMPORTANT to get everything off of the bare wood before staining. I followed the 80 grit with 120 grit to smooth any sanding lines and get a really smooth, fine finish.
  2. Next, I wiped it down really well to get all of the dust and dirt from sanding off of it. You want to make sure you have an absolutely clean wood surface before staining to ensure the most even, clean looking stain.
  3. Next, I used a Minwax stain brush and your stain to start the staining process. I brushed on my stain and let it sit for a minute or so and used the dry cloth to wipe it off going with the grain of the wood.  You’ll want to cover the entire surface and if you want a darker, richer color, you can do a second coat.  I did two coats.
  4. Finally, use a polyacrylic or polyurethane or a clear wax to seal it all up! You can use pretty much anything to seal and protect it and to give it some shine! The stain alone leaves a pretty dull-looking sheen so be sure to do a good clear coat.

I hope that helps you tackle a piece that needs a new life! Help revive it by staining it or painting it!

Oh! Any bloggers in the Phoenix area that are interested in meeting for a lunch date, shoot us an email (classyclutter4@gmail.com) We’d love to meet some of you face to face! Hugs!


  • Reply
    amanda koba gavelek
    June 26, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Thank you for the tutorial on staining. I have a coffee table that has a racetrack around the edges from my boys and while I love the track, it’s time to go.

    Travel tips from traveleling from the east coast to our home, also Arizona:

    *Keep them buckled in as long as possible – once mine were out they were all over the place (except for my oldest, 8)
    *Make sure any toys that might be thrown won’t injure anyone. I brought trains for my youngest and that was a BAD idea. Besides being missiles, when they were dropped on the floor the rolled aisles away
    *pack little surprises — new little toys, books and snacks that they don’t get often – novelty goes a long way on a long flight
    *movies and tv shows if possible. I’m not sure how you feel about screen time, but for us when the fun and games were over, it was all that would work.

    Hope you have a great flight and thanks again for the tutorial.

  • Reply
    koltuk takımları
    August 15, 2013 at 4:39 am

    Thanks for your very useful information. Thank you.

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