Previously my dining table was stained to match the new flooring. Ironically, when I was installing the above stated flooring, I had to put the table outside and it got rained on. The rain warped some of the boards of the table top. For the past few years, I have just lived with the gaps between some of the boards. After staining my new dutch door a dark walnut, I knew I wanted the table top and bench to also be dark to help tie it in. I finally broke down and tackled this DIY project. I decided to use my Super Finish Max sprayer to help the process be a little less stressful. Here is how to stain and seal furniture with a spray gun!
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How to Stain and Seal Furniture with a Sprayer!
Make Any Needed Repairs
I needed to replace the 3 worst boards. when I built the table top, I assembled it using pocket holes and screws. It was easy to unscrew the warped boards and add in the new. The last board needed to be tapped in with a mallet for a nice, tight fit. If your wood furniture piece has dents or ding, fill them with wood putty. Make sure to use a stainable type of putty.
I used a belt sander to sand all the way down to the bare wood. A belt sander is the best way to sand it all the way down FAST. This not only strips it of any old stain and sealer, but helped even it out and make it smooth. Just don’t sand in one spot too long since it “eat” through the wood faster than a palm sander. Start with a heavy grit like 80 or 100. Then move to a 120 or 150. I like to finish off with a 220 but I hand sand instead of using a sander. Once it has been sanded completely, vacuum up the dust and wipe it down with a damp rag.
Stain with a Sprayer!
I love using a sprayer to stain! Especially for large areas like a fence. I chose a dark walnut stain and filled my airless sprayer up about ⅓ of the way since my table top is not very large. The Super Finish Max has multiple spray tips. For stains and sealers, use the blue spray tip.
I was staining on my grass, but if you are working someplace like a driveway or garage, use drop cloth to protect your work space. Use painter’s tape to cover any parts that are not being stained or sealed to protect from any possible overspray.
Use a scrap piece of cardboard or wood to test the spray. Adjust as needed to get a thin spray that will cover without puddling. Light coats
are best. Spray slowly in even strokes to get uniform coverage. You can adjust the spray pattern on your Super Finish Max. I like to have it flat and vertical for this type of project.
Allow the wood stain to soak in for 10 minutes (or whatever time it states on the can) before wiping off any excess stain . If you want your furniture piece to be darker, allow the stain to dry and add a second coat. Repeat the same steps above.
Applying Sealer with a Sprayer!
Every stained piece of furniture needs a protective coat. There are many types. If you use a water based stain, it is best to use a water based sealer. Just like if you use an oil based stain, you should use an oil based sealer. Oil based sealers will be more durable. I prefer to use a fast drying oil based polyurethane in a satin finish. Oil based sealers tend to have a more yellow tint while waterbased are more of an actual clear coat.
I shared in previous posts (when I made plate charges for Thanksgiving and when I refreshed my front door) how easy it is to use a sprayer to apply sealer to wood. I used polyurethane for my kitchen table using my Super Finish Max as well. Just like when you stain, make sure to wear a mask. Eyewear is also a good idea, especially if you are not outside in a well ventilated area.
I adjusted the spray so very little sealer was coming out. I prefer to do many thin coats as opposed to one thick coat. You will get a much more professional finish if you are patient and apply thin coats.
Using a sprayer means no need to worry about brush strokes!
Sand In Between Coats
In order for each additional layer of sealer to properly adhere to each other, you need to lightly sand in between each thin coat. I use a fine grit sandpaper (220 grit). Be careful not to sand too much in one area or too hard or you run the risk of sand through the finish & stain and exposing bare wood again. If that happens, re-stain the area and wait for it to dry before adding more sealer.
The first coat of sealer will sink in and may look uneven. Just like with the first coat of primer or paint, it is okay that it doesn’t look perfect. Adding the first coat of sealer may also raise the grain and make the wood feel rough. That is alright too! Sanding helps even and smooth out the first coat.
You do not want to skip the sanding step. I know it is tempting because you just want the project done already. Early on in my staining and sealing experience, I skipped the sanding step my first time, thinking it would be fine. The finish start flaking months later.
I recommend for something that gets light wear and tear to use at least 2 layers of sealer. If it is something that will get lots of wear, add at least 3 layers.
Cleaning Your Sprayer
When cleaning your sprayer after using an oil based product, make sure to use paint thinner, mineral spirits, or brush cleaner. Wear gloves! I have an old bucket that is designated as my clean up bucket. Clean your sprayer thoroughly. Properly dispose of the cleaner according to the instruction on the container. I like to fill the sprayer part way with the cleaner, plug it in, and run the cleaner through the sprayer to make sure all the parts get clean.
I love how the darker color looks!
The darker color not only ties in the door, but brings out the darker parts of the flooring.
Refinishing furniture takes a bit of elbow grease and time, but it is worth it in the end! Not only can you save a beloved piece of furniture, updating it for you currently taste and style, but you can save so much money. You can stain and seal indoor furniture, outdoor furniture, fences, privacy screens and so much more! Do you have any other tips on how to stain and seal furniture with a sprayer?
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