RMDecor Solutions

Painting and Decorating

Specialists in Professional Decorative Finishes

Preparing Furniture For Staining, Varnishing & Waxing

You can greatly improve the look of your furniture with stain, varnish or wax. Here’s the method I use that achieves a professional finish and revitalises your furniture.

Preparation Sand and Clean

If the piece of furniture has been stained previously, I fill in any holes or cracks that may be visible with clear or coloured wood filler. Then it’s time for sanding. I sand where possible, beginning with a fine-grit 180/220 grade sandpaper.

Once I have a smooth even surface I’m happy with, all dust is wiped off using a damp lint-free cloth or tack rag. This is ideal as it will not tarnish the piece in any way or leave any residuals.

Furniture Staining And Varnishing Application

Apply and Seal – It’s important to make the first application as soon as possible to avoid any dust collecting. I leave this first coat to soak for a time, all depending on how rich we want the final colour.

Next, I wipe off the excess and apply a second coat if a darker look is required. When this drys, it’s time to sand lightly, taking care to remove all dust.

Then I apply 2 more layers and finally, seal with a polyurethane varnish in either satin, eggshell, gloss, or matt (clear) to finish.


Wax should be considered very carefully before you undertake this sort of project. The outcome will depend on the type of wax and the quality of wax you use. There are many different types of wax polish available, like beeswax, pigmented wax (which colours the wood as well as polishes it), clear wax (best used for finishes that have already been stained and coloured), and pine wax. I select a small starting area and apply wax to a clean, lint-free cloth. Normally two to three coats is ideal.

I am liberal with the wax and begin rubbing in small circles creating a penetrating massage into the wood grain. I Move the wax around to create a new circle after a new circle and reload the cloth with plenty of wax when it begins to fade out. Once the wax has dried off, It’s time to buff and polish to give a mid-sheen finish.

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