Every household could use the warmth, richness, and finesse of wooden furniture. From tables, bed frames, and chairs to chests of drawers, shelves, and cupboards, wooden furniture is timeless.
In the simplest terms, wood reflects a unique fusion of aesthetic appeal and unparalleled structural integrity that other materials lack. In this article, we’ll be discussing some insights that you can use to refinish your furniture and bring glamour to your home.
Simple Tips to Make Your Furniture Last Longer
With the right maintenance, solid wood furniture can look as beautiful in a decade as they do right now. An efficient way of making sure your furniture lasts a decade or more is by refinishing it.
While refinishing furniture, new DIY woodworkers may come across certain cracks and dents on the surface. These dents are easily fixable with wood putty or filler. You just need to know how to use wood putty to get better results.
Refinishing Your Wooden Furniture
Although it might seem simple at first glance, refinishing your wood is no easy task. It requires the proper materials, time and, most importantly, patience. Before starting out your DIY project, here are some useful materials that you will need:
• Rubber gloves
• A scraper tool/putty knife
• Eye goggles
• A dust mask
• Sand paper
• A chemical stain
• Staining pads
• Paint strippers
• A clean, dry cloth
Cleaning the Furniture
A very common mistake that first time DIY woodworkers make when refinishing their wooden furniture is not cleaning them first. You should wipe away any dirt, grease, or oil before stripping the old finish.
This could save you hours of work, as cleaning the surface of the furniture will give you a better understanding of its current state. It will also help you gauge what should be done next.
Removing the Old Finish
Even though removing the old finish is a troublesome and messy work, it’s very important. You have to be patient and make sure that you strip all of the old finish off. Although there are a couple of distinct methods to remove old paint and varnish, sanding and chemical strippers are the most common.
Using Chemical Strippers
Chemical stripper, also known as paint and finish stripper, removes paint and varnish from wooden furniture with ease. While working with chemical strippers, make sure that you have adequate ventilation because these chemicals are harmful if inhaled.
You’ll also need a thicker formula, such as a gel or paste, because a liquid paint can only be used on horizontal surfaces. An aerosol spray stripper is much more reliable for small-scale projects as it’s easier to control and it won’t spill.
Sanding has to be done even after applying the chemical strippers to get a flat surface to work on. If you have the right sanding equipment, such as a palm sander, 150 grit and 200+ grit sandpaper, and you have expertise in sanding, this is the best method to remove stains and paint.
Make sure that you’re wearing a dust mask and eye protection as sanding will release dust particles into the air. When you’re sanding, you should sand in the same direction as the grain.
Filling the Grain
Although this is a discretionary step, it’s sometimes necessary. Whether you do it or not depends on the type of wood you’re working with and the grain of your furniture. Some Woods don’t require a grain filler as they have a tight grain.
Furniture that has an exposed grain, such as oak or mahogany, needs to be filled with wood putty or filler in order to get a smooth and flat finish.
It’s a good idea to test your desired finish on a similar piece of furniture. Using the same filler, stain, and final finish on similar wood will help you understand if you’re on the right track.
Applying a Sanding Sealer
This is another discretionary step when refinishing wooden furniture. Applying a sanding sealer is like prepping the wood. Your wooden furniture will absorb the stain more efficiently if you apply a sanding sealer. Sealing the end-grain prevents the wood from absorbing too much stain and creating dark spots.
A stain is a type of finish that’s normally applied to wood to alter its color or to enhance the grain. It also protects it from damage. There are several different stains and dyes that are used to color wood, such as oil-based, water-based, and gel stains.
While applying stains on the furniture, always follow the given guidelines of the manufacturer. It’s better to use liquid stains with a rag or brush since it allows the stain to penetrate into the wood. Remove any leftover stain using a clean cloth and let it dry.
Applying a Clear Coat Finish
The option of a top coating depends on personal preference. If you choose to do so, you have to spread the clear coat on the wood properly and sand its surface gently, before applying the final layer. When that is done, you should wait for the furniture to dry for at least 24 hours.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced woodworker or a newbie as long as you’re being safe and doing it right. All you need to refinish solid wood furniture is the proper materials and to follow the guidelines.
So, get to work! Refinish your old solid wood furniture and restore it to its best condition.