Refinishing Brazilian Walnut Hardwood

What You'll Need
Varnish remover
Several paint brushes
Paint scraper
Steel wool (coarse to 0000 grade)
Sandpaper (various grits from 100 to 220)
Latex gloves
Eye protection
Ventilated area

Refinishing Brazilian walnut hardwood should be done with the utmost care in order to correctly remove the old finish and apply the new finish with good results. Additionally, the use of good products, fine sandpaper and fresh chemicals will aid in producing an excellent finish. When done correctly, the finish of beautiful Brazilian walnut combined with the outstanding qualities of this wood make this task well worth doing.

Step 1, Prepare Work Area

Prepare a working area that has adequate ventilation and light. Spread out old newspapers and tape them together to form a paper barrier underneath the wood on which the work is being done. Wear adequate eye protection, latex gloves and old clothes, especially a long sleeve shirt.

Step 2, Remove Old Finish

Generously apply varnish remover with a soft, pliable brush to all uneven or decorative surfaces first, and then to all flat, easier to reach surfaces. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and allow varnish remover to penetrate. Remove the old finish by carefully scraping with the paint scraper. Apply additional coats until the old finish is completely removed. It may be necessary to use the coarse grade of steel wool to remove the more stubborn spots of old finish.

Step 3, Prepare Surface

Removing the old finish will have raised the grain of the wood and so it will be necessary to smooth it out with the 220 grit sandpaper. Tackle the hard to reach areas first and mold the sandpaper to fit into crevices and over rounded pieces. Next, sand all the easy to reach surfaces. For the best results, it is strongly recommended that the wood be hand sanded at this point. The idea here is to get it smooth, not change any of the original characteristics of the wood or piece of furniture.

Wipe all surfaces with a clean cloth saturated in mineral spirits. Let the wood dry and clean once more to ensure all dust has been removed from the wood. Using the 0000 grade steel wool, carefully and lightly rub out all surfaces of the wood. Wipe the wood again, but with a dry cloth this time.

Step 4, Apply New Finish

Mix a solution of 25 percent varnish with 75 percent mineral spirits and apply generously to the wood following the grain. This formula is designed to penetrate and seal the wood with each successive application. Sand very lightly with 220 grit sandpaper and then wipe clean with a dry cloth. Next, mix a solution of 50 percent varnish and 50 percent mineral spirits and apply an even coat brushing in the opposite direction of the first coat. Sand lightly and continue applying as many applications as desired.

When the desired sheen is obtained, gently rub out the final finish with the 0000 grade steel wool. Wipe the wood with a clean dry cloth and apply a hard floor wax for a brilliant final finish. Buff with a dry towel or buffing wheel for greater results.