A Step-By-Step Guide to Restoring Old Wooden Furniture

Wooden furniture that’s set aside and rarely used tends to collect ample dust, dirt, and grime–three things that can contribute to a dull, lackluster appearance. And more often than not, when wooden furniture loses its sparkle, owners typically throw it away or sell to a thrift store. Though they seem old and worn, most of the time, these forgotten pieces of furniture are perfect for a restoration project. With a little paint and patience, you can bring new life to old pieces of wooden furniture such as wooden desks. If you love the natural beauty of wood furniture and don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, then this guide is for you! If you are looking to add a piece or two of real wood furniture to your home or office, visit the Oak Factory Outlet furniture store in Nashville, TN or Knoxville, TN. We are a fully diversified furniture store with a large selection of dining furniture, bedroom furniture, wood bookcases, unfinished furniture and so much more.  Contact Oak Factory Outlet, today! For now, take a look at this step-by-step guide on restoring old wooden furniture.

To start your restoration project, here’s a list of things you will need to get the job done:

  • Work Gloves
  • Tack Cloth
  • Lint-Free Cloth
  • Dust Mask
  • Finishing oil
  • Paintbrushes
  • Wax Polish
  • Chemical Stripper
  • Stripping Tool
  • Wood Dye
  • Wax and Polish Remover
  • Fine Steel Wool
  • Glass Paper
  • Sanding Block


The Restoration Process

Make sure you are wearing your gloves because this project is going to be a bit messy! Remember, the restoration process for old wooden furniture is one that requires patience and precision, but once it’s completed, you’ll find that the effort was worth it. Before getting started, be sure you set up your workstation either outside or in an open garage for maximum airflow.

1. The Stripping Process: Stripping the furniture piece of its original color is a very messy process, so be sure you are wearing clothes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty. Using your paintbrush, apply stripper to the furniture piece. You’ll want to leave it on for approximately 30 minutes, or until the finish has dissolved.

2. Neutralize the Stripper: Once you let the chemical stripper sit for the appropriate amount of time, you’ll want to use your steel wool and the wax/polish remover to neutralize the stripper. Follow the grain of the wood and slowly brush the wood.

3. Clean the Table: Once you have neutralized the chemical stripper, you can start to clean off any remaining residue with a cotton rag. After that, you’re done for the day! You want to let the furniture piece settle for 24 hours before starting the next step.

4. Sanding: Start off Day 2 of your restoration process with sanding! After 24 hours have passed, you can sand your furniture piece with either a sanding block or very fine glasspaper. Once completed, brush off the table and use a vacuum hose to collect any remaining debris. After that, use the tack cloth and gently wipe down the area.

5. Apply the Finish: After the sanding is complete, you can choose to either add a stain color to the wood or complete it with a finishing oil. When applying the finishing oil, be sure to use either a brush or a lint-free cloth. Let the oil sit for approximately 10 minutes. Once 10 minutes have passed, wipe off any oil that remains and let it sit for 5 hours. After the 5 hours, rub down the surface of the furniture with a steel wool pad and apply the oil again.

6. Furniture Wax: After step 5 is completed, add a thin coat of furniture wax over the furniture piece. Let it sit for an hour and then polish it with a lint-free cloth.

After step 6, you’re good to go! That once old and dated piece of furniture is now beautiful and vibrant. For long-lasting results, keep your new furniture piece out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources such as furnaces, radiators, or fireplaces.