You’ve found the perfect piece of wooden furniture at your local resale or antique shop, but it’s seen better days. Should you buy it? If it’s in decent condition, reasonably priced, and you just can’t pass up the design, go right ahead! With these helpful tips for restoring old wood furniture, you can make that old furniture look good as new.
Before you begin the restoration process, be sure to take the proper precautions to stay safe. Restoration involves working with chemicals that can be harmful to your health when used improperly. When working with wood material, there is the added danger of flying chips or splinters of wood. Restore your furniture in a well-ventilated area, and remember to wear the appropriate safety wear, including safety goggles, gloves, and long sleeves.
Give It a Cleaning
Sometimes, all an old piece of furniture really needs to look new is a good cleaning. Use a sponge or a soft cloth and a gentle furniture cleaning solution. If you want, you can use a solution of mild oil-based soap and water. Wipe the furniture with the solution, making sure to get the dirt out of any filthy crevices. Use a soft cloth to remove any excess water from your furniture to avoid damaging it. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that the finish is in good condition underneath all the dirt and grime!
Make Necessary Repairs
As you clean, examine your piece of furniture for any places that might need repairs. Check for cracks, holes, loose legs, or any other signs of damage. Tighten or replace any loose screws, and repair loose seams using wood glue. Holes or cracks can easily be filled with putty—just make sure it’s stainable if you intend to stain the piece.
Strip the Old Finish
If, after cleaning, the piece is still looking worn, you may need to refinish it. The first step to refinishing is to strip the old, damaged finish from the piece. You can do this with a combination of chemical strippers and sanding. Apply the stripper to the surface of the wood and wait the allotted amount of time for it to do its work. Once the stripper has loosened the old finish, manually scrape the finish off. Then, neutralize the stripper to ensure it doesn’t interfere with the new finish you’ll be applying. Wait 24 hours, then remove any excess material or uneven wood created during the stripping process by sanding your furniture.
Now that you’ve stripped off the old finish, it’s time to apply the new one. Apply the stain of your choice to the furniture with a paintbrush, leave it to sit for a while, then perform a second sanding. After this, you can apply the final finishing coat of lacquer, varnish, or a similar finishing substance to seal the wood, protecting it and giving it a shine.
These helpful tips for restoring old wood furniture will help you successfully complete your next furniture-related DIY project. If you like the idea of customized furniture, but DIY furniture repair isn’t really your thing, Vintage Mill Werks can supply you with quality custom wood furniture to your liking. Check out our collection or contact us today!