There is no greater feeling than taking something run down and giving it a new life. For our purposes today, “antique” does not mean valuable piece of old furniture. No, today “antique” means “piece of old furniture you have purchased second hand and want to make your own.”
Most people recommend not restoring true antiques because it greatly reduces the value. And we want to add value.
For most projects, you will be dealing with wood. Whether it is furniture or old doors and windows, you will want to follow these steps to bring your wooden investment back to life. And you can do it without harsh chemicals.
1. Safety First
It is always important to be safe. Eye protection, gloves, and closed toed shoes are a must. Working in a well-ventilated area is also important, even if you aren’t working with stripping chemicals or stain.
The size and age of your antique will determine how you clean it. For more sturdy objects that do not need the delicate touch, an air compressor should blow the dirt off. You could also use mild soap or cleaning solution (do your research on which is best for your project) in some warm water and a soft rag.
For the most part, regardless of what you want your end result to be, you will need to sand your piece. This can be done with an electric sander but if you have more detail or a smaller item, it will be best to hand sand it.
Sanding will remove any loose or peeling paint or stain and will make the wood more receptive to its next step.
Or you could sand all of the stain or paint off and start new.
4. Leave It or Move On
Now, depending on your piece, you may be happy with the look of it. The entire reason you are restoring this antique is because you like the character that it has. Perhaps by just cleaning it up, you have brought it back to life. If not, you can move to the next step.
There are a number of products that you can use to refinish your antique. Stain and paint are the most popular. When staining, it is important to not let the stain sit for too long on the wood.Do your research to determine what the best option and style of application is for you and what you want to do with your piece.
6. Enjoy Your Hard Work
Proudly display your creation! Some people even sell their restored furniture for profit.
There are so many different ways you can restore a piece of furniture back to it’s glory. Do your research to make sure you are using the right supplies.
Whether this is the first restore that you have ever done or it is the hundredth, be proud! Show it off! And if you enjoyed it, do it again!