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Refurbishing old furniture can preserve heritage, and can give a great deal of creative pleasure. It is also an ecologically responsible thing to do since it preserves materials already manufactured and minimizes use of new materials. Besides, old furniture often has interesting curves and styles not often found in new furnishings. Spray gun use can facilitate the process of adding a new finish and help cover those interesting curves.
Prepare the old furniture by first stripping away worn upholstery. Work carefully in this step, as some upholstery fabrics are antiques in and of themselves. Save it to use as a pattern for cutting out the new upholstery even if the original is worn beyond recovery. Before beginning other restoration, order new padding to use in the seat, back, and arms.
Repair any broken parts that go under the padding. Use a paint stripper to clean away old finish on exposed wood parts. A word of caution here: some types of finish are historical. Carefully test a piece away from view. It may be all that is needed here is a good cleaning. But it may also be the case that the finish is so worn or that it is of an unremarkable nature and cleaning off is a necessary step. If there is no upholstery to remove or clean up, cleaning up or off the old finish may be the first step.
If the wood revealed is cherry or walnut, the next step may be to lightly sand it and spray clear coat finish of an appropriate sort to protect the wood. If it is an ordinary sort of wood, use a spray gun to apply a stain or spray enamel. For this type of work, the small cup sprayers are more appropriate than the large tank sprayers, although some attachments are available to focus the spray. Work patiently, letting each coat dry between applications. Once the new finish is complete, it is time for a little more spray gun use to spread a final coat of spray clear coat to protect the new finish.
When satisfied with the spray gun use and the spray clear coat, clean the paint sprayers by running the appropriate solvent through the system. Carefully clean all paint and spray clear coat from the sprayers making sure no paint remains to dry and clog the system. On upholstered furnishings, replace any springs; top them with fresh excelsior, then fresh batting. Over this, stretch the cleaned original fabric or new fabric cut by using the old fabric as a pattern. Have some fun with decorative tacks and similar items if they can be appropriately placed. Finally, admire a job well done.