Refinish intricate wooden couch frame

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Old 01-07-20, 10:34 AM
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Refinish intricate wooden couch frame

Hey all! I have been gifted the most amazing older wooden furniture. Its very heavy solid wood. Its been well lived in and has many scratches some are fairly deep. The couch has a quite a few grooved and intricate swirls which would make sanding by hand a forever project. My idea is to remove all upholstery and bring the piece down to wooden frame, completely strip the varnish and stain down to bare wood. Then I was thinking of using a sand blaster to smooth everything out. Then re-stain and varnish. I have never attempted anything like this before. These are just my thoughts but I would like to hear from the community on best practices for this type of furniture to get my desired results. Please any direction and feedback would be greatly appreciated. See attached pics
 
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Last edited by Steven Vaden; 01-07-20 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 01-07-20, 10:47 AM
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Pretty sure you would need to get it reupholstered afterward. Stripping is messy work so you would have quite a hard time keeping it off the fabric.

I would also be willing to bet that you will not be able to get it to look anything like it currently does. The black shadow lines are almost certainly some sort of faux technique done in the factory. If the black somehow stays on despite the stripping you might have a chance. But my guess is that this is some sort of tropical Asian wood that wont stain up remotely similar.
 

Last edited by XSleeper; 01-07-20 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 01-07-20, 10:56 AM
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Yes, you will need to chemically strip the finish. But I would NOT sand blast. That will dig out the soft wood leaving the ridges of the grain, essentially ruining the piece. To hire your project to a professional would possibly cost as much or more than the new cost of the piece so doing it yourself is the only way.

I would start by removing the upholstery. Set the piece up in a comfortable place in your garage or workshop as you'll be working on it for a good while. After stripping the finish you'll likely have to sand every bit of the surface, much of it by hand. Then stain and apply a new top finish. Then there's the upholstering. It will not be a fast, easy or inexpensive project.
 
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Old 01-07-20, 12:57 PM
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Thanks so much for the reply and advice. Can you clarify what you mean by "dig out the soft wood leaving the ridges of the grain"?
 
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Old 01-07-20, 01:41 PM
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Wood is made up of soft fast growing early wood and harder slow growing latewood. That is what gives wood its woodgrain appearance. If you sandblast the wood, chances are it would remove more of the soft grain than the hard grain, leaving a rough and uneven surface. You want the wood to be just as smooth as it is now... sandblasting it would leave a rough, uneven surface and would mean you would need to do a LOT of sanding to make it as smooth as it is now.
 
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Old 01-07-20, 01:49 PM
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Thanks so much for the explanation. I am super clear now.
 
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Old 01-08-20, 07:26 AM
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Over Finishing

Do not sand/powder blast. Rent a sandblaster and play with it and you'll see why.
The scratches and patina are the charm of pieces like this. My ex got a 1700s corner cabinet from Germany for a song because its final finish was so polished it destroyed its character. May as well paint it.
 
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