Top Furniture Refinishing Tools That Will Make Your Project Perfect

Are you looking to upgrade the look of your home without breaking the bank? Refinishing furniture is a great way to do just that, and when you have the right tools it is possible for anyone to do it! In this blog post, we’ll discuss the best furniture refinishing tools from sanders and stains to topcoats.

We’ll explain which tools are best for each step of the process, as well as tips for the best results. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced DIYer, read on to learn how you can give your old furniture a new lease on life!

Learn more about refinishing furniture here!

various furniture refinishing tool and supplies

Are you looking to upgrade the look of your home without breaking the bank? Updating your furniture can be expensive, and you don’t want to settle for an outdated look.

Refinishing furniture is a great way to do just that, and when you have the right tools it is possible for anyone to do it!

We’ll help you find the best tools for each step of the process, as well as tips for best results. So read on and learn how you can give your old furniture a new lease on life today!

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I also may earn from other qualifying purchases with other companies or get free product to review and use. All opinions are my own.

Furniture Refinishing Tools

The best tools for furniture refinishing depend on the type of finish you’re looking to achieve, and how you want to do it.

Here is a breakdown of the different tools and supplies you may need.

Remember, you don’t need ALL of these tools. But a combination of these will help you on your journey of refinishing your old furniture.

various furniture refinishing tool and supplies

Tools for Removing Paint and Stain

When refinishing furniture, it’s important to start with a clean slate. The best way to do this is by removing any existing paint or stain from the surface.

There are several tools available that can help you remove old paint and stain, including carbide scrapers, chemical strippers, wire brushes, putty knives, and mineral spirits.

Learn more about the Best Tools for Removing Paint from Wood here.

Carbide Scraper

A carbide scraper is an amazing tool for removing paint and stain from furniture.

It features a sharp blade that will easily cut through hardened paint, topcoat and stain.

When using it, make sure to use caution as the blade is very sharp and can cause injury if used improperly. And scrape in the direction of the wood grain.

Bahco 665 Premium Ergonomic Carbide Scraper, 2-1/2Check Price


Check out this Blue Chalk Paint Coffee Table makeover to see the carbide scraper in action.

Chemical Stripper

Using chemical strippers is a great way to quickly and effectively remove paint and wood stain from furniture.

My favorite chemical strippers are Citristrip and Stripwell QCS stripper.

(Use code SUNLIGHT10 to get 10% off your order of Stripwell QCS!)

Check out my Stripwell QCS review to learn more.

They are much more safe to use than most chemical strippers, but require a little more wait time.

Your health is important here!

Check out the Best Wood Stain Removers to learn more about the pros and cons of each product.

Here are some tips and tricks on how to remove stain from wood without sanding.

Citristrip QCSG801 Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel, 1 Quarts (Pack of 1), orangeCheck Price


Learn more about How to Strip Paint from Wood Furniture here.

Wire Brush

A wire brush is great for removing stubborn paint or stain from furniture in conjunction with a chemical stripper.

It features stiff bristles that are perfect for scrubbing away old paint and stain.

Just make sure to scrub in the direction of the wood grain as it can scratch wood surfaces.

Topbuti 15 Pcs Mini Nylon Wire Brush Set for Cleaning Welding Slag Rust, Wire Bristle Scratch Brush Set, Curved Handle BrushesCheck Price


Putty Knife

A putty knife is an essential tool for removing stubborn or dried-on paint and stain from flat surfaces on furniture when using a chemical stripper.

It features a thin metal (or plastic) blade that is perfect for scraping away the stripper and the paint or stain.

Once again, scrape in the direction of the wood grain, especially if you use a metal putty knife.

Red Devil 4718 3-Piece Plastic Knife Set, 1-PackCheck Price


Mineral Spirits

Finally, mineral spirits is a great way to clean up the chemical stripper.

It can be used to remove any remaining paint or stain.

Just make sure to use caution when applying mineral spirits as it is highly flammable and can cause serious injury if mishandled.

Klean Strip Odorless Mineral Spirits 1 QuartCheck Price


Now that you’ve removed the existing paint or stain, it’s time to move onto the next step of refinishing furniture: sanding.

Sanding is important as it will help create a smooth surface for applying new stains and finishes.

Sanding Tools and Supplies

Now that you removed the paint or wood stain, it’s time to sand.

If you don’t want to strip the paint or stain off, you can use a sander to remove it instead.

The best tool for sanding furniture depends on the size of the job, as well as your budget.

Here’s what you need for sanding when refinishing furniture.

Power Sander

A power sander is a great tool for sanding large surfaces.

It features an oscillating pad that will quickly and evenly sand away the remaining paint or stain.

Make sure to use caution when using a power sander, as it can easily damage the surface of the furniture if used improperly.

DEWALT Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch (DWE6423K)Check Price


Here are the best sanders for furniture. (hint, the sander linked here isn’t the best, but it’s a great cheap option.)

If you want to sand indoors without creating a dusty mess, check out these sanders, the Festool Sander VS SurfPrep sander, that attach to your shop vac.


Of course you need sandpaper with your power sander!

For best results, start with 150 grit sandpaper. If you need more abrasion, you can use a lower grit.

Just be careful to not push too hard because you can easily ruin your furniture here.

Diablo DCD050150H50G 5 in. 150-Grit Universal Hole Random Orbital Sanding Disc (50-Pack)Check Price


Learn about the best sandpaper for furniture here. And check out our blog post about foam sanding pads for electric sanders to learn about how foam sanding pads make sanding curves and details easier.

Contour Grips for the Details

For getting into those hard-to-reach corners and crevices, contour grips are the perfect tool.

You can wrap sandpaper around them to help you sand in the details quicker and easier.

Learn more on how to sand in tight spaces here.

11 Piece 21 Profile Contour and Angle Sanding Grip Pack for Sanding Inside and Outside Angles Beads Corners Flutes Sign Lettering Ceramics Molding Plastic Auto Body Marine Wood and Around The HomeCheck Price


Check out this How to Paint Furniture High Gloss makeover to see contour grips in action.

Shop Vacuum with Brush Attachment

A shop vacuum with a brush attachment is great for removing all of the dust that’s created when sanding.

Vacuum off the dust when sanding to make sanding go faster, and vacuum after you’re done sanding to prevent dust from getting into the new finish and ruining it.

Ridgid Shop VacCheck Price


For best results, make sure to use the brush attachment on your vacuum to ensure that all of the dust and debris is removed.

I attach my shop vacuum to my sander as an added benefit. Check out this post on SurfPrep Sander – What you need to get started! to see my setup.

You can also check out this SurfPrep Sander Alternative for more ideas.

Check out my SurfPrep Vacuum POV-8 Review for an even better option.

Now that you’ve sanded your furniture, it’s time to move onto the next step: staining!

Staining Tools and Supplies

From tack cloths and lint free rags to pre-conditioners and stains, there are many products available that will help you get perfect results.

NOTE: If you are working with oil-based products, let your rags and supplies dry outside, laying flat. Oil-based products can easily start a fire if you aren’t careful.

Here are the best tools and supplies for staining wood furniture:

Tack Cloth

A tack cloth is an amazing tool for staining furniture.

It’s a special type of cloth that removes dust and lint from the surface to ensure the best results when applying a stain.

Make sure to use tack cloths before you apply any type of finish or pre-conditioner, as it will help prevent any dirt or dust from ruining your job.

Trimaco 10506 SuperTuff Tack Cloth, 18 x 36-inch, 6 Count, Pack of 6, tanCheck Price


Lint Free Rags

Lint free rags are a must-have for staining furniture.

You can apply the pre-conditioner and stain with these rags, but you can also wipe off the excess stain with them, without leaving lint behind.

INTEX NW-00347-200 Cloth Rags, PlainCheck Price



Wear gloves when staining furniture to protect your hands from the stain.

Make sure to use disposable gloves, as some stains can be difficult to remove once they have dried.

Comfy Package Synthetic Vinyl Blend Disposable Plastic Gloves [100 Count] Non-Sterile, Powder & Latex Free - SmallCheck Price



A respirator is a must if you’re staining indoors or in a confined space.

It helps filter out any fumes or particles that the stain may produce.

Your health is very important here!

3M P95 Respirator, Half Face, Disposable, 53P71, Large Size, Protection Against Organic Vapors and ParticulatesCheck Price


Cheap Paint Brush

For anything other than a flat surface, you’ll need a cheap paintbrush to apply your pre-conditioner and stain.

Make sure to get one with synthetic bristles.

10 Pieces 2 Inch Paint Brush,Flat Paint Brushes Professional Paint Tools with Treated Plastic Handle for DIY Paint,Furniture,Fences,Deck,and Wall TrimCheck Price


Learn about the best brushes for staining wood here.

Pre Conditioner for Stain

A pre-conditioner helps the stain penetrate deeper and more evenly into the wood.

This is especially important if you are staining a softwood like pine.

Minwax 61500444 Pre Stain Wood Conditioner, 1 Quart,Clear 1Check Price



There are a few different types of wood stains out there.

Gel Stains, oil-based wood stains, and waterbased wood stains are some options. And then each one has many different color options.

Check out this post to learn about the best wood stain for furniture.

General Finishes Oil Base Gel Stain, 1/2 Pint, JavaCheck Price


Painter’s Pyramids

These little plastic pyramids are great for staining furniture if you have removed cabinet doors, or lightweight components from your furniture.

Place them under the cabinet doors, mirrors, etc to raise them off the ground and make staining easier.

U.S. Art Supply Yellow Cone Canvas and Cabinet Door Risers - Acrylic and Epoxy Pouring Paint Canvas Support Stands (Pack of 20) Great to get your Canvas or Cabinet Doors elevated for a clean paint jobCheck Price


Once you’ve stained your furniture, it’s time to apply a topcoat!

Topcoat tools and supplies

When you get to the topcoat, you’re almost done!

Now, you might be tempted to skip this step, but a topcoat is what will protect your refinished furniture from getting ruined. It also makes it wipeable, and more durable.

Here’s what you need.


You can choose between a water based top coat and an oil-based top coat. Water-based is best for non-yellowing, while oil-based provides more protection and is best for outdoor projects.

Varathane 200241H Water-Based Ultimate Polyurethane, Quart, Satin FinishCheck Price


Learn about the best polyurethane for furniture and wax vs polyurethane here. For more helpful tips on spraying oil based polyurethane, check out our blog post about oil based polyurethane spray!

Topcoat Brush or Foam Sponge

For best results, use a brush specifically designed for applying topcoats, like this topcoat brush.

You can also use a foam sponge for better results.

Zibra Topcoat BrushCheck Price


Here’s how to apply polycrylic to furniture.

Paint Sprayer

If you want a really smooth finish and even coverage, spraying your polyurethane on with a paint sprayer is the best way to go.

It will apply a thin layer of topcoat quickly and evenly.

FLEXiO 3500 SprayerCheck Price


Here are the best HVLP paint sprayers for furniture, and how to spray polyurethane.

That’s it! Now you have all the best tools and supplies for refinishing furniture.

Tips for Best Results When Refinishing Furniture

Still a little nervous about refinishing your furniture?

Here are some tips that will help you get the best results!

  1. You never know when your furniture is going to have a thin layer of wood veneer. So when you sand, be super careful as to not sand through that layer of veneer.
  2. Make sure the surface is clean and free of dust, dirt, or grease before you stain.
  3. Always use a pre-conditioner for best results.
  4. Use disposable gloves when working with stain and topcoats so that your hands are protected from any nasty chemicals.
  5. Use a tack cloth to remove any dust or dirt particles before applying the pre-conditioner, wood stain or topcoat.
  6. For best results, use a sprayer when applying the topcoat for even coverage and a smooth finish.
  7. Allow each coat of stain and topcoat to dry completely before adding another layer.
  8. Let the topcoat fully cure before using your newly refinished furniture.

Check out how to refinish a dresser to learn more.

With the best tools and supplies, as well as some helpful tips for best results, you now have all of the information you need to begin refinishing furniture.

Refinishing your own furniture is a great way to upgrade the look of your home without breaking the bank.

Learn more about how to refinish wood furniture here.

If you’re an Amazon shopper, head on over to the Best Amazon Deals to save big while getting top-notch products.

With these tools and supplies, and following our best practices advice, you can achieve professional-level results that will transform any room in your house!

So get out there and start refining those pieces today – happy refinishing!

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