I'm trying to restore a piece of furniture that has sentimental value. It is currently stained with a very dark (mahogany?) color:
However, I would like to stain it a much lighter color (Maple, using Cabots). I assume that if I don't completely remove the existing stain then it's going to end up a hot mess. I'm finding it very difficult to remove the existing stain because it's not a professionally made piece of furniture, so it has a lot of nooks and crannies and I don't think the wood was well-sanded before it was originally stained, so there are lots of indentations and rough surfaces.
So far I've managed to achieve this state:
This was by using very course (40 grit) paper with orbital and detail sanders:
Can anyone offer advice to ensure I'm successful with this project? Specific questions include:
- I will have to remove all existing stain, right? Is there some magic I'm not aware of that would make this more practical?
- Can I improve my strip-back process? I feel like it's taken an awful long time to strip back even this one small part of the furniture, and it's still not completely done. My only plan of attack right now is 40 grit, then 80, then a very fine (120). I came to the realization today that I might have to do some parts by hand, which worries me.