HOW TO RESTORE AN OLD FURNITURE STEP BY STEP

 

 

 

That wardrobe that your grandmother left you as an inheritance or the half-broken French dresser that you found in the aux puces market in Paris can become a small treasure with a good restoration. In addition, restoring wooden furniture is helping to promote responsible consumption. If you dare to try it, we will help you with this step by step … And we warn you: restoring furniture is a hobby that hooks you!

Before you start the restoration of the furniture, it is important to submit it to a complete check-up to assess whether or not it is worth restoring it. It is always better that the number of pieces that you have to change does not exceed those that can be kept.

The basic tools to restore a piece of furniture are: sandpaper of various sizes and hardnesses, brushes, cotton rags, screwdrivers, blades, aluminum scourers, cotton, and a spatula.

When you get down to work with restoring your furniture, avoid working outdoors : the wind and sun dry out wood and paint. The ideal is to work in a room with a stable temperature and away from hot or cold sources. And don’t forget to protect yourself with a mask and rubber gloves. Health is first!

HOW TO RESTORE A PIECE OF FURNITURE STEP BY STEP

STEP 1. CLEAN THE FURNITURE

It is the first step in restoring an antique piece of furniture. Simply wipe it with a cloth dampened with water and a little mild soap, and let it dry completely. Go over corner or trim stains with a very hard toothbrush dipped in solvent. The next step will be to remove the paint or varnish. To do this, apply stripper with a brush and remove it with a spatula. Repeat the operation until the finish is removed, and clean the furniture with a cloth and solvent. At the end, pass a fine sandpaper.

STEP 2. ERADICATE WOODWORM

It is easy to detect in a piece of furniture: its surface will have small holes. To eradicate it, apply an anti-woodworm product with a brush in each hole, and wrap the furniture with plastic. It is important to completely cover the hole. It is recommended to renew the plastic every 48 hours and leave it covered for a minimum of four days.

STEP 3. REPAIR THE BUMPS

Slight indentations in the wood disappear if you place a cloth dipped in hot water or milk on the affected area. Hold it tight with a tape and let it act for a few hours. You can also cover the cracks with putty or natural wax to hide scratches and blemishes. Fill them in with a putty knife, then sand the surface and repeat until the crack disappears. To restore it to its original color, paint it with wood-toned oils.

 

STEP 4. FIX SAGGING DOORS AND DRAWERS

If the furniture you want to restore has the door off the hook, change the hinge for a larger one. To make the new one fit, widen the recess with a chisel. An easier option is to glue the old hinge to the cabinet with quick glue. If the drawers do not slide well, apply a little soap to the guides, or sand the sides.

STEP 5. RESTORE LOCKS AND HARDWARE

When restoring furniture, pay attention to bronze hardware as well. They are cleaned with soap and water. Go over all other metals with a soft bristle brush moistened with vinegar or cola. Brush locks with oil and scrub with a soft bristle wire brush.

STEP 6. REPLACE DAMAGED OR BROKEN ITEMS

If you dare to change small pieces when restoring your old furniture, such as legs and moldings, remove them and draw them on paper. Put them on a board (pine for furniture with grain and beech for those without) and cut them out with a hacksaw. Sand the edges and stain it the color closest to the furniture.

To glue the new pieces, remove the old ones and remove the remnants of the old glue. Apply white glue, hold the piece with a jack or string and let it dry for 24 hours. If you only want to glue the original piece and it is difficult for you to remove it from the structure, apply the glue directly.

STEP 7. VARNISH AND WAX THE FURNITURE

Apply a layer of varnish -matt or satin-, let it dry for 24 hours, sand the furniture, clean the dust and apply another coat in the direction of the grain. Then, with cotton, apply a layer of colorless wax: it will give it a much more natural look.

STEP 8. TO DYE OR NOT TO DYE?

If your old furniture has lost its color or you want to give it a completely renewed look, it is advisable to stain it. Sand it, clean it and apply a coat of dye with a soft, non-shedding brush. To darken it, coat it several times until the shade is right.

STEP 9. SHELLAC FINISH

It is recommended only when the furniture to be restored has this original finish. Its viscous texture covers the pores of the wood and, in addition, gives it shine. In a transparent or amber finish, you must apply about 15 coats with a special brush for this product.

STEP 10. POLISH THE FURNITURE

To make the final finish of the furniture to be restored more shiny, apply at least a second coat, either of varnish, stain, or shellac. It is advisable to wax the piece once or twice a year to keep it in perfect condition after restoration.

STEP 11. REFRESH THE UPHOLSTERY

If you are renovating a chair or an armchair and the fabric is not very damaged, a fine-tuning is enough to make it like new. Carefully remove it from the frame and take it to the dry cleaner for a thorough cleaning. Later, staple it with a special stapler for upholstery. If the original fabric is unusable, create a template in the shape of the original upholstery, cut out the new fabric, and staple it. See how to upholster a chair step by step.

HOW TO MAINTAIN A RESTORED FURNITURE

The maintenance of restored furniture must be constant. First of all, try to keep the furniture away from sources of heat and humidity, and avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, as it could lose its original color. As for its cleaning, go over it with a dry cloth and avoid products that damage the finish.

 

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