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How to Restore Old Wood Furniture

by Jonathan Logtenberg

If you consider yourself a bit of a handyman, there’s a chance that you are likely always on the hunt for more and more projects to get involved with. Your friends and family might think that you’re crazy, but if you’ve got a real passion and love for working with your hands, you know that there’s simply no escaping this obsession. And, you know what, why should you? Working with your hands can be one of the most rewarding things out there, and being able to look at a finished project you’ve sunk a great deal of passion and love into can be a really wonderful feeling.

However, as fun as this can be, you might sometimes find yourself with a lack of projects to work on. It’s a sad thing to think about, but there’s more than likely going to come a time when you simply can’t find anything else to work on. If you happen to find yourself in this situation, something we’d like to recommend is getting your hands on some old wood furniture to restore. Old and vintage wood furniture is some of the most beautiful furniture out there, and properly restoring one can result in a true work of art. As exciting as this might sound, if you’ve never restored a piece of old wood furniture before, you might not be exactly sure as to start this whole process. In order to help you with this, we’ve created a list of everything you need to know and keep in mind when starting a restoration process on any bit of old wood furniture.

Make Sure You’re Equipped With the Proper Tools

As with any project that you take on, you need to make sure that you’re properly equipped with all of the tools you’re going to need for this restoration project. When restoring a piece of old wood furniture, some of the most vital tools are safety goggles, cloth gloves, a metal scraper, wooden brush, glue, and screws. There are other tools you’ll need, but these are some of the most important and necessary ones.

Get Your Furniture Properly Prepared for the Restoration Process

Now that you’ve got the necessarily tools that you’ll need for the restoration process, you might be raring to dive right into the restoration. However, before we get that far, we need to make sure that the item of furniture you’re going to be restoring is prepared and ready to be safely restored. No matter if you’re working with a table, chair, or something else, take it apart as much as you possibly can. This means unscrewing any screws, taking apart joints, etc. You don’t want to destroy them, so make sure you are as gentle and careful as you possibly can be.

Time to Strip!

After your furniture is prepared and ready to be restored, you’ll start off the process by stripping the furniture. This is done first by washing a random part of the furniture with a wash cloth of warm, soapy water. This will help you see what parts of the wood or paint will come off of the furniture, and once it’s been completed, you’ll then want to move on to actually stripping the wood. There are many different methods of stripping wood, so finding the one that works best for you will take a bit of guessing and testing.

Finishing the Furniture

Now that you’ve got your furniture properly stripped, you’re ready to move on to the finishing process of the whole ordeal! When it comes down to finishing old wood furniture, you’ll want to lighten dark areas with a liquid stripper that you put on a rag if the piece you’re working on is streaky. If it isn’t you’re in the home stretch!

There are many different methods when it comes to finishing old wood furniture, but while some people like to stain it, we recommend against this when dealing with particularly old furniture. Old wooden furniture has a beauty unlike anything else out there, and diminishing that beauty with a simple stain is a pure sin in our book. You can certainly stain it if that happens to be your own personal preference, and this is an area where there isn’t really one right or wrong way to go about it. Some folks will say that staining is the way to go, and others are against it. If you do decide to stain it, you’ll want to make sure you use restraint so that your work doesn’t look unnatural. The stain should be applied lightly, and then wiped down with an old rag after its sat on the furniture for a few minutes. Keep this process up and you’ll be all set!

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