Stain proof your furniture

August 21, 2013

Do you have those ugly discoloration rings in the tops of your expensive dining room tables, end tables and kitchen cabinets?
They most likely have a lacquer finish which is very poor at resisting water damage.
So, what can be done about it?
Kitchen cabinet, and the furniture industry knows that they can save almost 50% of their labor costs by applying a lacquer coat finish, vs. a polyurethane finish. Lacquer finish can be completed in one day and poly finish in three days. Lacquer dries very quickly, sands easily, and makes a real smooth finish. After spraying and sanding 3 coats of lacquer on a cabinet door you would think it would have 3 layers of protection against dirt and water on it. Truth is that each layer of lacquer melts into the previous layer and all three layers become one thick layer. No matter how many layers of lacquer is sprayed on a piece of furniture, it only counts for one coat. You cannot protect your cabinets, and kitchen, and bathroom cabinets in this way.
My recommendation is to take your damaged and stained furniture and sand it back to the wood. Apply stain or paint to the entire area and allow it to dry for 24 hours. Take polyurethane and apply a coat over the stained or painted surface, and allow to dry for 24 hours. Sand with very fine sand paper to removed raised wood grain, and other imperfections. Remove all dust and debris, and apply second coat of polyurethane. Allow another 24 hours to dry, and repeat with sanding and cleaning area for final third coat. Each coat of polyurethane is a separate layer of protection for your furniture. Yes, you now have a water proof coating and you need not worry if there is a coaster under a glass anymore.
If a child spills their drink on your furniture, it wont be an emergency because the polyurethane is protecting it for you.
I have used this method in my home, and the expensive furniture I want to keep, and it works fabulously.
If you have bathroom or kitchen cabinets that are splitting and cracking, there is a good chance you can refinish them and save them. First remove all the lacquer by sanding. Now you can apply a good oil primer, and apply several poly coats.
Polyurethane is oil based, so it repels water. Remember the secret that oil and water do not mix.