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Antique and Collecters Blog

Welcome to Lola's Antique Blog. Enjoy our stories about antique picking, tips on antique care and much more.

Beginner Tips to Refinish Antique Furniture

If you’re a novice to antique furniture restoration, then you have come to the right place to learn how to improve the finish of your furnishings without damaging the value or integrity of them.

Refinishing Your Antique Furniture

Beginner Tips to Refinish Antique FurnitureFirst, make sure that your refinishing process will not remove the greenish layer, called a patina, which forms on the surface of many antique pieces. If you inadvertently remove the layer, you might significantly reduce the resale value of the item.

To prevent this issue always read the labels of the items you are going to use to refinish the furniture. Read the label to learn what chemicals as in it, as well as how to use it correctly. Also, always work in a well-ventilated area.

Next, decide whether to strip the old finish off or if washing it instead would be the best solution. If the item is not painted, you can likely clean it well by using a hand cleaner that has pumice in it. Dip a toothbrush into the cleaner and gently brush it along crevices for a thorough clean.

If stripping the finish off is your choice for refinishing the antique furniture, then always wear gloves and a mask. Apply the stripper liberally in a single stroke, rather than going back and forth. Put newspaper on top of the stripper so it won’t dry out. Leave the stripper on until it is soft enough that you can rub it with a finger down to bare wood, without scraping the wood. To remove the stripper, a putty knife works great. Be careful so as to not damage the wood material.

For any light scratches you see use sandpaper to sand them out. Choose a fine grit so that it will take you longer to make a mistake, if you are a beginner.

Then you need to stain. Select a popular brand of wiping stain that is a direct-to-wood variety. Ask at the store you buy it from which color is best for highlighting the grain or your particular wood. Put on gloves and a mask, and then brush on the stain. Leave it a moment and then use a soft cloth to wipe it dry.

Lastly, apply the finish. A wipe-on kind is easiest. Apply a gloss polyurethane finish with a soft cloth and leave it for at least one day to dry completely. Then lightly sand it. Apply a second coat of finish, this time, a semi-gloss. Enjoy the refinished antique furniture in your home!

Beginner Tips to Refinish Antique Furniture Videos

References:

Furniture Rehab and Repair

Beginner’s Guide to Furniture Refinishing

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The Windsor Chair