View Full Version : Little girl, new hobby

Keeley Shields Balyk
03-19-2018, 11:41 AM
Let me start off by saying I found this site at 5am while researching about oil-based wood primers.
I am 22 years old and I've always thought antiques were beautiful plus I love art. I thought to myself randomly two days ago I should refinish furniture and picked up two cute little antique tables.
I had no idea of the process and i'm still kinda clueless but I've been doing alot of research.
Did you know sand paper has different grit?
I didn't until me and my friends tirelessly tired to sand one of the tables with a 80 from the dollarstore when we should if used a 220.

What kind of wood is my table?
Only god knows!

But I find all of this interesting and truly enjoy learning.

Maybe this will be good? I'm probably in over my head.

Anyway nice meeting you.


Bill McNiel
03-19-2018, 11:55 AM
Welcome to The Creek. You have found the right place to start your adventure. You will discover that SMC is populated with nice folks who have a wide range of experience, absolute beginners to professionals, who are happy to share their knowledge and experiences. Start asking questions and enjoy the process.
Regards - Bill

Bruce Page
03-19-2018, 12:37 PM
Keeley, welcome to SMC. We all started on this journey with curiosity and little else. Feel free to ask any questions you might have, there are a lot of smart & talented people here that are willing to help.

Rick Potter
03-19-2018, 12:47 PM
I have a young neighbor lady who refinishes furniture in her garage while her young kids are playing the front yard. She gets it at thrift stores, and sells it.

She enjoys doing it, too.

Welcome, lot's of advice here.

Jim Koepke
03-19-2018, 1:36 PM
Howdy Keeley and welcome to the Creek.

You might want to reconsider refinishing antiques. Many are desired for their original finish and a new finish can drop their value.

This may only relate to antiques from before 1900.

The only thing you might want to approach with great care is asking about sharpening in the Neanderthal Haven conference. The going consensus is if you ask five people about sharpening you will likely get ten different answers.


Jim Becker
03-19-2018, 1:36 PM
Welcome to SMC, Keeley! This is a great community and I'm sure that you'll get a lot of value. There are some folks who hang in the Finishing Forum area that are super knowledgeable, too, which should be helpful to you as you work things out with your refinishing projects.

Bill Dufour
03-19-2018, 2:56 PM
Any tool from the dollar store is suspect of poor quality. That sandpaper is probably from China and fell apart very quickly. Almost any other place is better to buy sandpaper from. well not Harbor freight. I have no idea about Busy Bee. Search this site for discussions about sandpaper to get some ideas. Anything made in North America or Europe should be ok.

Dennis Peacock
03-19-2018, 3:06 PM
Welcome to the Creek!!!! Glad you found the site. There are many people here from those just learning about sandpaper and tools all the way to those that have been doing woodworking and refinishing for well over 40 years. Welcome and ask all the questions you care to ask.....you'll be glad you asked those questions BEFORE you jump to a different project. It can save you a LOT of money!! I know.....SMC wisdom, advice, and tips from various people have saved me big money over the years. :D

Lee Schierer
03-19-2018, 3:33 PM
Keeley, welcome to the creek. Don't be concerned about the sandpaper grit, we all started somewhere and have had our share of learning experiences along the way. As others have noted, some antiques are better left as they are with just some good cleaning, others are okay to refinish. Usually paint stripper is a better starting point than sand paper. Some of the new citrus based ones are pretty safe to use and are effective in removing old finish.

As far as what wood the piece is made from post some photos and maybe we can figure it out.

Bill Dufour
03-19-2018, 5:48 PM
Shellac is the refinshers friend. Except for wax it will stick to any finish used on wood. And any finish will stick on top of the shellac. As you gain more experience you will find that certain finishes do not like to stick over certain other types. But shellac solves that problem even if you do not know what the old finish was.
Also if the old finish was shellac, a common older clear finish, it can be refreshed simply by painting it with clean alcohol to dissolve the old shellac and let it remelt and dry. Test in a hidden spot first. And of course you can add more shellac to your brush if needed.
Bill D

Dave Cav
03-21-2018, 1:41 PM
Welcome to the forum. You found a good place to start and there are lots of helpful people here. Don't be afraid to ask questions; we were all beginners to woodworking at one time.