How to Restore Wood Furniture

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Wood furniture can look attractive in your home, as the material adds a level of comfort and sophistication to any space. 

However, this does not mean that wood furniture is free from problems, as wood is notorious for collecting dust and grime. Over time, this debris can make the wood look dull, which can have a profound impact on the aesthetics of your home. 

In this article, we will teach you how to restore wood furniture using simple products found in your home. Whether that be a polish or leather recoloring balm

So if you want to restore your furniture to its original beauty, this article has everything you need to get started. 

What You Need

Before we can show you how to restore your furniture, you must first collect the necessary tools and supplies. These include: 

  • Protective gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Paintbrushes
  • Chemical stripper (or stripping tool)
  • Polish remover
  • Wood dye 
  • Finishing oil 
  • Furniture wax 
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Fine steel wool 
  • Glasspaper and sanding block

Once you have gathered these tools, you can start restoring your furniture using the following instructions: 

How To Restore Wood Furniture 

It is important to note that restoring furniture can be messy work, therefore we recommend completing the restoration process outside. 

If you have to work indoors, then you will need to cover the floor and furniture. Otherwise, this could lead to staining and other problems. 

Step One: Strip The Furniture 

Once you have prepared your workspace, you will need to coat the wood furniture with a generous layer of chemical stripper. 

To do this, we recommend using an old paintbrush and liberally coating the wood with the product. 

When the stripper has been applied, it will need to rest for 5 – 30 minutes, as this will give it enough time to dissolve the finish on the wood. However, this time frame can vary depending on the quality and thickness of the coating. 

If the stripper does not remove the finish right away, just add another layer and it should help to break down the varnish. 

Step Two: Remove the Chemical Stripper

When the stripper is no longer needed, you will need to neutralize the chemicals using steel wool that has been soaked in polish remover. 

Before doing this, it is important to read the instructions for the chemical stripper, as different products need different neutralizers. If you use the wrong polish remover, it could reactivate the chemicals and damage the wood. 

During this process, you will need to follow the grain of the wood. Otherwise, the steel wool could scratch the material. 

Once the chemicals have been removed, wipe down the furniture with a cloth to remove unwanted debris. You will also need to use wax remover to tackle any old residue still left on the wood. 

Leave the furniture to rest for 24 hours before continuing with the restoration process. 

Step Three: Tackle The Problem Areas 

After 24 hours, return to the furniture and use a sanding block to smooth down the raised fibers on the wood

During this process, it is important to work with the grain and then wipe down the furniture when you finish. 

In most cases, wood furniture will begin to bleach and dull with age. Because of this, we recommend using a simple wood dye to restore it to a uniform color. 

This can be accomplished by taking a large paintbrush and coating the wood with a generous amount of the dye. When you have finished, you will need to wipe down the furniture to remove any residual product. 

For the best results, we recommend completing this job in good light, as this will ensure a clean and even coat. 

Step Four: Restore & Finish The Wood 

When the dye has dried, take a lint-free cloth and use it to apply a coat of finishing oil to the wood. 

The oil should be allowed to rest on the wood for 10 minutes, as this will give it enough time to penetrate the material. Once the time is up, take a clean cloth and wipe away any leftover product. 

Wait 5 hours and then repeat the process until you have reached your desired level of sheen. 

Step Five: Finishing Up 

To complete the restoration process, take a small amount of furniture wax and wipe down the unit. 

Leave the wax to set for an hour and then use a clean lint-free cloth to wipe down the furniture until it shines. 

If you want to avoid warping and other issues, we recommend keeping the furniture away from radiators, fires, and direct sunlight. 

When the wax has dried, your wood furniture will be restored to its former state and can be set anywhere in your home. 

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