by Alan Noel
Professional Wood Finisher
When I first started working on old furniture, I would give
everything a very good sanding before re-staining
and adding a new finish. However after I went to work for an antique
restoration shop while I was in college, I soon learned that not every piece
should be treated the same way. Here are some tips to help
guide you in the right direction.
1. If the piece has already been finished once and is still in overall good
condition, there's a good chance that only a fine (320-400 grit) sanding
will be needed. This will help to ensure that much of the original color
or "Patina" will be retained.
2. If only a part of the piece is damaged in any way, sand just this area
as much as needed, then fine sand the rest of the piece.
3. When more than fine sanding is needed, be sure to sand the entire
area to one uniform color, leaving no light or dark edges.
4. When you are finished with the sanding, wet the entire area with
mineral spirits to check your work for uniformity. Sand again where necessary.
5. If all looks good and even, you are ready to move on to the color and
finishing stage of your restoration project.
Visiting Atlanta? Attend one of Alan's upcoming highly informative Highland Woodworking wood finishing seminars:
, January 20, 2010
Visit Highland Woodworking's Online Wood Finishing Supplies Department
Antique Restoration Workshop
, January 23-24, 2010
Wood Coloring Basics
, February 10, 2010
, February 20, 2010
, February 24, 2010
, February 27, 2010
Scott Antiques Mall Treasure Hunt
, March 13, 2010
Alan can be reached directly via email c/o Alan Noel Furniture Refinishing at