Wood can be refinished by sanding off the old stain or paint but sanding runs the risk of removing fine details on the wood. Chemical strippers are the best to remove paint, varnish and shellac. Prepare the area on and around the project, strip, scrape and scrub. You might encounter some tricky situations like finding it hard to clean details on the wood. After project is stripped and cleaned, let it dry over night. It is time to refinish the wood. Bleach wood if needed, stain or leave natural and apply a clear topcoat to seal the surface.