Furniture takes a beating over the years. Luckily, there's a pretty quick and easy fix. Here's how to stain wood furniture without stripping. Yay!

Stain Wood Furniture Without Stripping the Old Stain

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Every DIYer should know how to stain wood furniture without stripping the old stain!

I think this DIY is a must know for any DIYers out there. Furniture takes a beating over the years. The stain can get worn down, dinged, scratched and chipped over the years. Here’s how to stain wood furniture without stripping. Yay!

I love the results with this General Finishes Gel Stain. This is absolutely not sponsored by General Finishes, I just really use and like the product. 🙂

AND, if you have that old orange tinted stain on furniture, doors, stair railing, etc…in your home, you can use these exact steps to stain your orange stain a beautiful rich brown. I have seen some very beautiful before and after stair makeovers on Pinterest using this Java Gel Stain to get rid of orange stain.

Easy DIY Steps to Stain Wood Furniture Without Stripping the Old Stain. I'm using General Finishes Java Gel Stain for this makeover.
Don’t forget to Pin Me!

I wish I had thought of trying this Gel Stain makeover BEFORE I painted my stair railing black 6 years ago. I really, really wanted dark brown stained railings and treads, but didn’t want to strip. Oh well, next house, right? 😉

One more thing, I’m sharing this DIY as part of a bunch of new UpCycle and Makeover Projects with some of my very talented blogger friends. You can find the link to all of their projects at the end of this tutorial. Now, let’s get to the steps to Stain Wood Furniture Without Stripping.


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Watch the Stain Wood Furniture Without Stripping Video

Seeing someone do something always helps me understand the DIY better. Watch this 3-minute video for a better look at each step.

Here’s What You’ll Need

Before getting started with the makeover.

Steps to Do This DIY At Home

Please Note: You can see the steps for this DIY to Stain Wood Furniture Without Stripping in the video above. These steps are only for stained wood – painted and bare wood would have a few different steps. Always follow safety directions on any product you use.

If you want to stain bare wood a deep rich brown stain color, check out my Steps to Stain A Table Top. Those steps will work on any bare wood. But you can seal with just 2 or 3 coats of poly instead of the 6 or 7 I use on kitchen tables.

Step One

Use a little dawn and warm water or a 50/50 of Denatured Alcohol and Water to clean the furniture.

Step Two

If you’re old finish is smooth enough for you to leave it alone, then lightly sand with a fine grit sanding block. That will rough up the old finish enough for the new finish to bond to it.

If the old finish is rough to the touch or uneven, then start by sanding it smooth with a medium grit sanding block. You don’t need to completely sand off the old finish, just sand it smooth. Then lightly sand with a fine grit sanding block. That will rough up the old finish enough for the new finish to bond to it.

Step Three

Apply Gel Stain with a foam brush. Apply a light even coat. Gel Stain can be gummy and not dry completely if applied too thick. Follow directions for dry time and safety. I used 2 coats to cover the original stain.

Step Four

Seal and protect with 6 coats of Wipe On Poly with a rag for small sections or a foam brush for large, flat areas. If you prefer thicker, water-based brush on poly, you could use 2 or 3 coats of General Finishes High Performance Top Coat.

Furniture takes a beating over the years. Luckily, there's a pretty quick and easy fix. Here's how to stain wood furniture without stripping. Yay!
These stools are looking new again, in just a weekend. Yay!

That’s it! Easy, right? It just takes a little time to get this beautiful look on your furniture. 🙂

More Stain Wood Furniture Without Stripping Pictures

Easy DIY Steps to Stain Wood Furniture Without Stripping the Old Stain. I'm using General Finishes Java Gel Stain for this makeover.
That dark gel stain matches our kitchen island nicely. It’s available in 15 colors, so you can pick the one that matches your room. 🙂
Easy DIY Steps to Stain Wood Furniture Without Stripping the Old Stain. I'm using General Finishes Java Gel Stain for this makeover.
You can see before and after pictures from our kitchen makeover here. This room used to have a lot of orange tile, guys.

Easy DIY Steps to Stain Wood Furniture Without Stripping the Old Stain. I'm using General Finishes Java Gel Stain for this makeover.

Furniture takes a beating over the years. Luckily, there's a pretty quick and easy fix. Here's how to stain wood furniture without stripping. Yay!
Don’t forget to Pin Me!

Now, please click the link below to see all of the creative DIY Makeover and Upcycle projects my DIY-loving blogger friends shared, this month. 🙂

See More Upcycle It Projects
At Home DIY Logo

Looking for more of my DIY Furniture Makeover videos? You can see them here, on my YouTube channel. 🙂


Here’s another distressed furniture painting project, you might like, here’s the steps for the DIY White and Grey Distressed Paint Finish I used on my DIY Pedestal Dining Table.

Here's how I get the perfect layered paint and distressed paint finish with chalk paint on furniture. East how to distress paint steps and video to help you do it too! DIY White and Grey Distressed Furniture Look #PaintTips #Painting #Crafts #DIYCrafts #ChalkPaint

Or, check out this classic Dark Blue with Dark Wax Cabinet Makeover.

DIY Napoleonic Blue Bathroom Vanity Makeover with dark wax and pretty chrome knobs. #AbbottsAtHome #BathroomIdeas #BathroomDesign #BathroomCabinets #AnnieSloan

You can also find this popular Blue Distressed Paint Using Vaseline Tutorial and a beautiful DIY Weathered Paint Effect Tutorial, on this blog.


Feeling inspired? Now that you’ve seen this Stain Wood Furniture Without Stripping tutorial, you can do it too. Let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.

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