I recently purchased a 1920's era oak china cabinet. The exterior is stained rather dark, somewhere between hickory and onyx, but the inside is much lighter, and almost orange in color, like a cherry stain. There is very little polyurethane on the outside. The interior and the shelving has none, that I can tell, though I'm hardly an expert. There are no stains or damage to the wood though to repair.
I want to re-do the stain so that it is all one color, inside and out, and I'm sticking to the darker shade.
How much sanding am I going to need to do? Do I really need to go all the way down to bare wood, especially if I am going to put a dark stain back on it anyway?
What grit sandpaper should I start with?
And, do I need to take the cabinet apart? It stands almost 5' tall by maybe 40" wide by around 12" deep. It has one set of glass doors that take up almost the entire cabinet, except for a small drawer on the bottom. It's nearly 100 years old - I really don't want to take it apart if I don't have to...
Everything I've looked up so far seems to start with chemical stripping as if it has 10 layers of old paint on it, which is does not.
I've also never refinished any wood projects, so this will be my first!
Thanks for any guidance and advice!
I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you and I hope that I am not too late!
First, I am assuming that the cabinet is from the 1920's and not just a reproduction from that time. If this is the fact, before you do anything to it, have it apprasized. While It is not an antique, it is still collectable and any change in the finish ect, may effect the value of the peice.
If it not of any great value then go ahead and refinish it.
As for how much sanding you will have to do, I am not sure how much stripping you will have to do, as I have never refinished "stained " furniture.
I would suggest that you ask this question at a paint store or try to find someone that has had some experience in doing this.
My best guess is that, since you are going darker, you would only have to sand enough to remove any gloss or shine and give some "tooth" to the wood so it will absorb the stain..
Sorry that I can't be of more help.
Funny thing. I am in the midst of sanding down an old china cabinet.Yes there is a lot of sanding to do. Especially around the grooves and the fret work , if there is any on it. That is about all you can do is sand. That is the easy part. If it was painted you would have to use a stripper to get it off. Good luck. Maybe try your question on the antique site also.
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