Hi friend, new to this place.....so I may be posting this in wrong place. but I am thinking of refinishing my 1950's knotty pine kitchen cabinets. I do not know if I need to strip the original varnish off first than sand or can I just sand the cabinets using 120 paper?
I had the same dilemma with some 1930's pine doors that had been varnished so I imagine that kitchen cabs will similar. I tried sanding and found that the paper was getting clogged with the old varnish and I couldn't get into the detailed areas sufficently. Not to mention that my muscles took a pounding after several hours of vibrating with the sander!
In the end I plumped for chemical stripping and although it was a somewhat unpleasant job the results where much quicker and gave a better finish. If you can afford it take them to a professional stripper who will dip and strip them for you. Otherwise there are plenty of varnish removal kits etc around.
Today (five years on) I have a whole set of lovely waxed doors which look better and smell wonderful. They do need more care but it is worth it.
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