Are you looking for practical tips for restoring wooden furniture? You have come to the right place. Old, neglected wood furniture often suffers from dirt buildup, diminished color and luster resulting in a dull appearance. With this in mind, owners of antique furniture often wonder how to restore old wooden furniture (often very valuable pieces) to its former glory.
Fortunately, restoring wooden furniture is quite easy. Follow this guide to know what to do.
What you will need: work gloves, dust mask, brushes, stripping tool, wax remover, fine sandpaper and sanding block, wood stain, wood restorer/finishing oil, wax polish , sticky cloth and lint-free cloth.
Step 1 – Protect/preserve your environment
Stripping furniture is messy, but essential to restoring wood . So work outdoors if possible. If you work indoors, protect nearby floors and furniture, while providing good ventilation. To avoid damaging the finish of the furniture, cover it with plastic sheeting so that only the surface to be restored is exposed. Apply the stripper generously with an old paintbrush.
Step 2 – Let the Layers Dissolve
For best results when refinishing wood, leave the stripper in place for five to 30 minutes until the solution has dissolved. The duration will depend on the composition and thickness of the coating. If the stripper hasn’t removed all the layers, just re-roll the paste.
Finishing wood furniture may seem like an art, but it is easily done. If you really have trouble, call the Ébénisterie du Ranelagh in Paris.
Step 3 – Neutralize the chemical stripper
Neutralize the wood with a steel wool pad soaked in mineral spirits or proprietary polish and wax remover, following the grain of the wood. Before using any chemical, always read the label carefully, as some strippers require different neutralizers. Failure to neutralize the stripper may allow it to reactivate and your wood restoration may not go as planned.
Step 4 – Clean the Rest of the Furniture
Wipe off the residue with a cotton cloth and let sit for 24 hours. Meanwhile, clean dirt and old polish elsewhere by applying a wax remover to a steel wool pad or coarse rag.
Step 5 – Sand the Surfaces
24 hours after stripping the furniture, use a sanding block and very fine sandpaper to smooth out any wood fibers raised during the stripping process. Shake and vacuum the release sheet to remove any dust that could mar the finished piece. Finally wipe the top with a dusting cloth.
Step 6 – Take care of bleached areas (if any)
When restoring furniture, you will notice that each piece is different to tackle. For example, if the furniture is placed under a window, the sun will bleach some of the wood, so applying a wood stain will give the surface an even color. Apply generously with a brush and allow the solution to penetrate. Then wipe off the excess with a cloth.
Step 7 – Enhance the Shine to the Finish
Once dry, apply a coat of finishing oil using a brush or lint-free cloth. Let the oil soak in for 10 minutes and wipe off the excess before it becomes sticky. Wait at least five hours and scrub gently with steel wool before applying another coat.
Step 8 – The final touch with wood restorer
Finally, apply a thin coat of good furniture polish sparingly to all surfaces. Let it sit for at least an hour and buff the piece of furniture with a lint-free cloth. To avoid warping caused by wood drying out, move furniture away from radiators and fires. Sunlight will bleach the wood, so make sure it’s not placed under a window.