DIY – Refinishing Wood

“Can I just refinish this one spot?”
A table my sister found while living in Germany.
 I’ve been getting this question a lot.
And, yes, you can refinish just that one spot, but Ican’t promise that it’s going to look any better than it didbefore.
It’s difficult to match stains since there are hundredsto choose from. And even if you have the original stain, it can fade over time.
If you care about the piece enough to remove the water-stainor overall wear on a piece, you might as well go all-in. Just know that it canbe messy, and if you don’t have all of the materials already, the costscan add up.
Here is one piece I did the other day. It’s a base fora china cabinet hutch, so only the edges need to be refinished.
1. Start with a stripper and a paint brush, working in smallareas. Make sure to have chemical resistant gloves – the heavy duty ones.
2. Remove the old varnish and stain with a metal scraper forthe large, flat areas, steel wool for the large round edges, and a small wirebrush for the details.
3. Sand the wood. I use a 120 grit and finished with a 220grit. Wipe it down with a soft cloth to remove the sawdust.
4. Apply a wood conditioner. This preps the wood to allow aneven absorption of stain and limits streaking.
5. Apply the stain (I use a sponge brush.) Let it sit for5-15 minutes and wipe off the excess. If you want the stain darker, keepapplying the stain until you get the desired color. You have to let the staincure for about 8 hours.
6. Apply the varnish. I use the Minwax Polycrylic. The more coats you put on (2 hours apart) the shinier the surface. Use a 220 grit in-between coats.
From May Makeover Part II
Instead of a varnish, you can use a finishing wax for a“soft luster” or just leave the wood with its natural finish.
Wax Finish from The Finish Line
If you’re a beginner DIYer or you’re doing a one-time project, here’s the breakdown of what it will cost you.
Materials: (all are estimated with tax)
Kleen Strip Stripper:   $12
Chemical Resistant Gloves: $9
Paint Brush: $4
Steel Wool: $3
Small Wire Brush: $1
Sandpaper: $6
Dust masks: $5
Cloth/Rags: Free if you’re using an old shirt, but a 1lb bag runs about $5
Wood conditioner (only comes in a quart) $10
Stain: (pint size) $4
Sponge brush: $1
Polycrylic or finishing wax: $10
————————————————————Totals to $70
These will be useful for other projects, but you will need them for this project:
2 saw horses: $30
1 sheet of plywood: $10
1 small sander (least expensive runs around… ) $40
———————————————————— An extra $80
So if you’re doing this for a one time project, thecosts are $150 plus your time committed to this project. Always ask your handy friends if you can borrow their cool tools and supplies, I’m sure they’ll be glad to help!

This article is also has great information:

Hope this helps!