How to Refinish Bamboo Furniture

It may be surprising to some, but bamboo is not a tree; it's actually grass, and it grows just as fast. Due to bamboo's great beauty and rapid growth, it has become a shining star in the environmental movement. Bamboo doesn't need to be replanted when it's harvested, as it instinctively grows a new shoot from its extensive root system. This obviously makes bamboo an endlessly-renewable resource. If you've come to embrace bamboo furniture, learn how to refinish it and give it a new look.

Prepare your work area. Spread out a dust sheet to prevent varnish from getting on the floor. Choose a well ventilated area, as some varnishes can be very strong.

Sand the furniture with medium, 150-grit sandpaper. Target any areas on the bamboo furniture that appear ragged or cracked.

Sand the piece using fine, 220-grit sandpaper. Gently sand the remaining areas of the bamboo furniture until its original paint or varnish is removed.

Wipe down the surface of the furniture with a clean cloth. Remove any debris from the sanding process before you begin varnishing the bamboo.

Paint a thin, even coat of varnish on the surface of the bamboo. The furniture may require two to three coats to achieve a unified appearance. Leave the furniture in your work area until it is completely dry, at least 24 hours. Bringing it in your home too soon can cause damage to the furniture and can bring noxious fumes into your home.


Bamboo stains easily. If you spill anything on your newly-refinished bamboo furniture, take care of it immediately before it hardens or stains.


Never use flammable paints or varnishes indoors. The fumes can cause serious illness.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper
  • Varnish
  • Paintbrush
  • Clean cloth
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About the Author

Joseph Eitel has written for a variety of respected online publications since 2006 including the Developer Shed Network and He has dedicated his life to researching and writing about diet, nutrition and exercise. Eitel's health blog,, has become an authority in the healthy-living niche. He graduated with honors from Kellogg Community College in 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science.