I've recently bought some pine furniture which is well built and solid but needs a bit of TLC.

It is also finished with something that gives it a kind of 'orangey' colour. It has some scratches and I much prefer the more natural, paler colour underneath. So I want to remove the finish.

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My question is thus three-fold I guess:

  1. What do you think the varnish/lacquer/coating is?
  2. Can I remove it and if so, how?
  3. What would you recommend as a natural coating to protect it but keep the 'natural' colour of the wood?

Actually, 'Pumpkin pine' IS (or can be) a natural, aged color of pine.

Painting is the easiest recourse.

Formby's or similar 'refinisher' will strip wood (of varnishes) and leave some patina, after which, a wood bleach (an oxalic acid based, like Savogran wood bleach) would be called for.

Then, sand and coat with a u/v blocking clear finish.

Repeat in 20 years.


Tell every one its an antique and mustn't be tampered with. Its the best TLC this beauty deserves.

Essay on Pumpkin Pine by Richard Mcintosh

  • They do both look nice. I wouldn't touch them. – DMoore Sep 5 '13 at 18:59
  • On doing further research, it seems wax was the only finish normally used. Pine is notoriously difficult to stain properly. Dye spraying (as opposed to wiping or brushing) can net a un-blotched finish. – HerrBag Sep 5 '13 at 19:04
  • 1
    I am done trying to restain wood furniture. I'm either keeping it or painting it. I have restained tons of floors but furniture is its own beast and I think it takes artistic talent - or at least I tell myself that. – DMoore Sep 5 '13 at 19:28

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