Restaining Pine

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I have bunk beds that my grandfather made for me as a kid about 20 years ago that are made out of pine( I think not 100% on this) and are stained to a honey color with no sealer/poly on top of the stain. My wife wants me to re-stain these to match some furniture (a baby crib and a dresser that we recently ordered) that is maple with a cherry stain.

What would be the best way to tackle this problem? I'm thinking I would have to sand a significant amount of wood on the bunk beds to get it to bare wood to re-stain. This would be huge sanding job since the bed is rather large and has solid panels at the head and foot of the bed. I have read that pine likes to soak up stain. Would a better option be to try darkening the existing stain and try to match the cherry colored furniture? Is that even possible?

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Here is the thing. You never know what has come in contact with the wood over those 20 years. Mainly the headboards and side rails from climbing are the worse because of oil from hair and skin. Causing you finishing issues..

If this were me I would chemical strip the bed using products from your local box/hardware store. Get it right down to the wood and start over with a clean slate. Chemical strip will remove the stain and nasties from the wood. Follow That up with a good wash of the wood with mineral spirits.

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