Giving your interior trim and doors a second chance and achieving a “new” look requires wood refinishing techniques. These techniques can be applied to all of wood surfaces in your home.

For the adventurous “do-it-yourselfer” wood refinishing is a common project. This is evident by the volume of refinishing products available at your local home improvement center. I often see dazed and confused faces staring at the shelves containing paint strippers, stains and various clear finishes.

A wood finish, such as stain and varnish, can last for many years and instill a beauty that only natural wood can provide. Unfortunately stained or naturally finished wood will loose its original luster over time. This beauty will need to be revitalized or even refinished.

Although there are many techniques and opinions for refinishing wood, fortunately most of the fundamental steps are basic to them all. Wood refinishing can include several steps ranging from stripping the finish, restaining and applying a clear wood finish to protect and beautify your hard work.

  • Paint Stripping is one of the most misunderstood aspects of wood refinishing. Although not always necessary, chemical stripping or using a heat gun can save hours of back breaking work, exposing the wood almost ready for a new look.
  • Sanding the wood surfaces will produce better and smoother results. Especially when using the right sand paper, grit and sanding machines.
  • Staining wood, if done properly, will add color and bring out the woods natural beauty. A few basic techniques and the willingness to experiment are all that you need.
  • Protect all of your hard work by applying a clear wood finish. Wood finishing will also require a little finesse and experimentation.


The choices of clear finishes on the market can seem staggering. Fortunately you have only a few categories to choose from. The choices are rubbing oils such as Tung oil, slow drying finishes such as varnish and polyurethane, water base finishes and fast drying lacquers.

Applying Tung oil and its derivatives is easy and will produce great results, Varnish and Polyurethane will provide more protection but is a bit more difficult and applying Lacquer is the most difficult.

Restore a wood finish with a little effort.

Wood refinishing is best done in a clean and controlled environment.

The use of a garage or shop is advisable for pieces that can be removed, such as doors. This will keep the dust, from sanding, or the smell, from staining and finishing, out of your living spaces. But for base, casing and other permanent pieces of woodwork this will not be possible.

Stripping an original finish is what most people consider to be refinishing. But this isn’t always the case. If the overall color is good but the surface is covered with light scratches, it is possible to restore a wood finish with much less effort. This depends on the original finish and overall condition of the wood.

If the finish is damaged or an entirely new look is desired then most of the above steps will have to be done. Common wood refinishing projects are interior doors and trim, front doors and wood windows.

  • Interior wood doors and trimwill always need some work. It is possible to revitalize a scratched or dull finish without having to completely remove the existing finish. Refinishing interior doors and wood trim can be very labor intensive and time consuming. I recommend doing this only if the wood species is rare or if the woodwork has historical value.Wood refinishing is best done one room at a time to avoid a large disruption to your life. Many businesses specialize in this type of work and should be consulted prior to starting, even if you plan on doing it yourself. The small cost for excellent advice can avoid very costly mistakes.
  • Front doorsmust take an enormous amount of abuse and help maintain a comfortable environment inside your house. Being the welcoming facade of your home, it is important the front door looks its best. Given the cost of a new exterior door, refinishing wood front doors has become a very popular project.Wood is an excellent material to work with but is unstable, constantly moving with expansion when heated and contraction when cooled. For these doors a finish that can stretch and shrink with the wood is needed.
  • Every year I refinish many wood windows. The main problems encountered are water from condensation and a wood finish that has turned to powder due to UV exposure. Proper preparation and the choice of wood finish is critical in order to have lasting results.

Although this is a short list of possible refinishing projects, the same ideas and techniques used can be applied to many other wood surfaces.

The basic steps are clean and strip or sand if needed. Apply stain if desired and cover with a protective clear coat. Sounds easy doesn’t it? It can be, given the right circumstances and a little knowledge.

Wood refinishing projects are very doable for the homeowner with low material costs. Remember, patience is the best refinishing technique. Keep in mind the time and labor could be substantial for some projects. Plus the mess generated will need to be dealt with on a daily basis. All wood refinishing projects will need persistence and the ability to deal with a mess that could last for a while.

For now, the most of people have began to use the machine for wood refinishing. Like airless paint sprayer. It is the fastest way and easy way to handle.

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Thanks for your time.