How to Get The Perfect Raw Wood Finish | Little House of Four - Creating a beautiful home, one thrifty project at a time.: How to Get The Perfect Raw Wood Finish

Monday, February 15, 2021

How to Get The Perfect Raw Wood Finish

Get the perfect raw wood finish and seal and protect your furniture WITHOUT darkening the beautiful and natural color of the wood. 


Are you a natural wood/stained furniture lover or do you prefer the look of painted furniture?

I'm normally a "scuff up furniture and paint" kind of girl, but every now and then I get the itch to refinish or raw wood a piece of furniture.  There's just nothing better than allowing the beautiful natural wood of furniture to shine.  

Recently, I bought this little side table from a local auction (find my favorite used furniture sources HERE) that was screaming for a raw wood makeover.  Granted, it would have been much easier and quicker to slap on a few coats of paint and call it a day, but something about this piece told me the raw wood needed to shine. 

How to achieve a raw wood finish


- SUPPLIES NEEDED TO GET THE PERFECT RAW WOOD LOOK- 
Affiliate links have been used 

- Sanding Pads (80/120/320 grit) 
- Ryobi Corner Cat (for getting into corners and along edges)
- Sanding Pads for Ryobi Corner Cat
- Sandpaper sheets 
- Drill and drill bits (To drill new hardware holes)
- Screwdriver (To remove old hardware) 
- Simple Green 
- Shop rags or paper towels 


Let's go over a few common questions before I share the steps I like to use to achieve the perfect raw wood finish. 

HOW TO REMOVE FINISH FROM WOOD FURNITURE? 

There are two common ways to remove old paint or stain from wood furniture.  You can use a sander to sand off the old finish or use a wood stripper such as Citristrip to strip and scrap off old layers of paint or stain.  There isn't a right or wrong way, but I prefer to use a sander. 


WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU USE REGULAR WAX ON RAW WOOD?
When you raw wood a piece of furniture you are stripping away any previous paint, stain or sealer that was protecting the natural wood.  If you leave furniture raw without applying a new coat of wax or poly you are taking a risk of your furniture drying out, cracking, swelling or staining.  

To limit wood damage, preserve furniture AND keep it looking natural you'll want to seal raw wood with Liming or Cerusing wax.  Any other wax or poly (from my experience) will darken the wood, enhance orange tones and change the color.

Here are the steps I took to remove old furniture stain to achieve the perfect raw wood look. 


HOW TO GET THE PERFECT RAW WOOD LOOK 
Dated side table before

STEP ONE:  

Remove old finish.  Start with 80 grit sandpaper on an orbital sander (I used a Dewalt Orbital Sander) and sand off finish until you expose the original raw wood.  A Corner Cat is great for getting into corners and along edges where an Orbital Sander can not reach.  Once the original stain has been removed (leaving satin in cracks and groves is okay and adds depth and dimension), switch to 120 then 320 grit sandpaper.  
Standing dated side table
STEP TWO: 
Using the same grit sandpaper (80, 120 then 320 or similar) hand sand around edges and in corners where the orbital sander and Corner Cat couldn't reach.   

***TIP***. You don't need to completely remove all the old stain around the edges and in the grooves.  Just be sure to sand the old finish out so it blends into the raw wood. 

STEP THREE: 
Clean furniture with Simple Green or similar household cleaner to remove sanding dust. 

(The finish looks blotchy in the picture below due to the wood still drying.)
Cleaning sanded side table
STEP FOUR: 
Apply Amy Howard Liming Wax (Cerusing Wax works great too) in a circular motion using a lint-free rag or wax brush.  

Both Liming and Cerusing wax are white, blend in beautifully with raw wood and help cut any orange tones, which are especially common with pine and other softwoods. 
Sealing raw wood with lime wax

How to get a finished raw wood look

Raw wood side table makeover


weathered raw wood finish

I love the beautiful and rustic worn look of this little raw wood side table.  Leaving a bit of stain in the cracks gave it depth and dimension while the Liming wax sealed the wood for a beautiful raw wood finish.



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How to get the perfect raw wood finish



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4 comments:

  1. Great job! I just discovered some water based tints that are great for raw wood, link here- http://littlehomesteadinboise.blogspot.com/2021/02/using-tattered-angels-water-based-wood.html Really different look. I love your new drawer pull too!

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  2. Love your makeovers and your Dollar Tree crafts. This little table is beautiful? Do you know what kind of wood this was? I have an oak piece that I would like to try.

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  3. This is absolutely beautiful! This may be one of my favorite pieces!!

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