I have several items of furniture that I intend to stain. The first two are dressers made of wood which are presently painted. I would like to stain both of them a warm chocolatey brown and then varnish them to protect them. I would like to know what steps I should follow to do this: What is best to remove the paint? Do I need to sand them before staining them? Do I need to identify the wood before purchasing the stain? What are the best methods of staining? What type of varnish do I need?
The other item I would like to stain is an antique rocking chair made of elm which has always kept it's original colour but has been kept in shape with beeswax. I would like to also stain this chair a warm brown, but afterwards is it possible for me to apply beeswax to protect it? I was told that a varnish may possibly be too harsh for this type of wood. Thanks in advance for all of those who answer with advice! :)