A wide variety of items in a home are built from wood, and homeowners seeking to keep these products in good shape must take steps to preserve them on a regular basis. Refinishing is an important part of protecting natural wood while also helping to improve its appearance. Homeowners with wood worth protecting in their homes and furniture should explore ways of safeguarding these assets to preserve them for generations to come.

What Is Refinishing?

A great deal of confusion is widespread in today’s world regarding what refinishing means. Unlike painting, which covers wood with a solid layer of colored enamel, refinishing seeks to draw out wood’s natural beauty by completely removing existing finish, restoring the wood when necessary, and then reapplying a final coat of semi-transparent finish that both protects the wooden materials and highlights their natural contours with a fine veneer. Refinishing can be used on any products made from wood, including those that have been painted, that have become worn or damaged with the passage of time.

Refinishing and Wood Restoration

Refinishing existing wood is almost always preferable to rebuilding since wood can retain its structural integrity and natural look for hundreds of years. However, making used wood products look like new takes time and care that goes well beyond simply applying a new layer of finish.

Professional refinishing usually starts with sanding down existing finish or paint. The sanding process creates opportunities for smoothing away dings, stains, and other damage that tends to occur with long-term use. As a result, refinishing projects almost always become restoration projects, though the time required to achieve such results can vary widely depending on the condition of existing wood and a homeowner’s goals.

Wood Restoration Techniques

As mentioned, refinishing begins by sanding down existing finish, and, in general, this process removes nearly all imperfections in wood. Wood that has been subjected to heavy wear and tear, however, often requires additional steps to get the results homeowners envision from a restoration project.

Small pieces of damaged wood can be replaced with copies made from wood aged under similar conditions to achieve a close match. For sensitive restoration jobs, professionals can bore holes into damaged materials and apply a closely matching patch that is almost unnoticeable. A wide variety of other restoration techniques can be applied on a case-by-case basis, so homeowners should contact us to explore what options are available for severely damaged wood.

Stain and Varnish

Once the old finish has been removed and restoration measures have been taken if a homeowner elects to do so, applying the final layer of lacquer is the last step in the refinishing process.

Most refinishing jobs apply a consistent layer of stain on all wooden materials. Matching color tones is important, especially when refinished wood will stand next to aged materials that must appear identical. It can be helpful when homeowners know the specifics of the original stain or even have an extra can, but professionals can use special techniques to determine the exact color characteristics of finish when this information is unavailable.

Some refinishing projects also add a second layer of varnish, which helps to protect stain and the underlying wood from damage arising from scratches, sunlight, dings and other general wear. Modern varnishes include chemicals that help to preserve wood with a better seal and keep pests away. Once the varnish has been applied and is fully dry, the wood should look as good as new for decades under ordinary conditions.

Refinishing Wood in Your Home

If your woodwork or wooden furniture is starting to look worn out, be sure to explore options for refinishing thoroughly before contemplating replacement. Summit Home Improvement offers wood refinishing in Akron, Ohio, and the surrounding areas for homeowners looking to improve their current home. Contact Summit Home Improvement to explore how your wooden furniture and woodwork can be restored like new.