project- staining pine dresser

boysmomOctober 14, 2007

i was given a dresser that appears to be varnished pine plywood. i stripped off (or so i thought)all the varnish & after choosing a stain, applied it to a drawer front. there was still varnish there- although i couldn't see it. the stain didn't absorb in one spot, was blotchy in others & the sides look like crap w/the multiple layers. i'm afraid if i sand much more, i'll take off too much of the top layer.

on hgtv, i saw them do a paint then gel stain over on a tabletop & it looked good. of course they make everything look easy, but i wonder if anyone's ever tried that?

or maybe i'll just paint it. how do i prime this thing for painting so the paint won't peel off?



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To paint, sand lightly, prime with Bullseye 123 primer(Zinsser makes it) and paint with whatever paint you choose.

To stain it, you will need to strip the finish with a chemical stripper(the non-toxic orange stuff is fine). Then clean the stripper residue, and sand with 150 grit paper. Then apply a preconditioner----that limits the blotching pine is famous for . You can but a premade conditioner or make one with shellac----one pound of flakes dissolved in one gallon of denatured alcohol.

Then apply stain. I have not used gel stain, since it is basically a thin paint and sits on the surface moreso than oil based stains.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 10:23PM
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I have done a number of jobs with a colored paint, followed by a glaze (what the gel stain is acting as). Since I spray, I normally use tinted lacquer, an oil-based glaze, and seal with a lacquer clear coat.

I do not like latex paint for furniture -- I think it is too soft and prone to blocking. If you are brushing, oil-based enamel is a good choice.

Don't beat yourself up too much; pine is notoriously difficult to stain even in the best of circumstances.

Here is a link that might be useful: Glazing

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 12:08PM
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thanks! we've decided to paint the thing.
i'll be looking a little closer next time i
volunteer to do something like this!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 12:15PM
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