Six Steps to Restoring Old Furniture

Six Steps to Restoring Old Furniture

June 15, 2020

Breathing new life into older pieces of furniture is one of the most exciting and satisfying projects that a homeowner can undertake. It’s incredible what a little DIY repair and a fresh paint job can do to something that you find at the swap meet or the thrift store (or even in your own attic), and we see people get addicted to this simple type of project all of the time. Furniture refinishing in Pensacola, FL is one of those things that can create value and fun for your family for years to come. Here are some tips that can help get you started on this satisfying hobby.

  • Safety always comes first: A lot of the time, furniture refinishing in Pensacola, FL requires the use of tools and chemicals that are dangerous if they’re not used properly. Before you start, make sure you have all of the safety equipment that you’re going to need, from eye protection to breathing protection to safety gloves. It’s also best to do this work outside if possible—you’ll be glad you made less of a mess, and the vapors from chemicals won’t be as potent in the outdoors.
  • ID the furniture’s finish: Next you need to figure out what type of finish the furniture already has on it—which might be easier said than done. Some materials like shellac or lacquer are tough to ID by sight, so you need to do a little detective work. A good trick we’ve learned is to apply a little denatured alcohol to the surface. If the alcohol removes the finish when it’s wiped off, it’s shellac. If it takes lacquer thinner to remove it, it’s lacquer. If neither of them works, then you’re likely looking at a varnished surface.
  • Give it a scrub: We’re going to let you in on a little trade secret: much of the time, furniture refinishing in Pensacola, FL is as simple as giving the piece a good scrubbing down. Wood cleaner can help restore the original finish, and warm water with detergent can be the “big guns” if this doesn’t do the trick. Don’t let the wood get too wet, and make sure you rinse and dry thoroughly.
  • Clean up the dings and scratches: Furniture gets beat up over time, and our crew at Fresh Start Painting Inc. have devised techniques to deal with this inevitability and get them shining like new. “Reamalgamation” is when scratches are buffed out using the appropriate solvent described above, restoring the finish to a “like-new” shine.
  • Stripping furniture: Sometimes you’ll need to strip furniture down to the wood if you’re planning to re-stain it. This can mean that you’re using the chemicals described above, so take care if this is the step you’re going to undertake, and feel free to call the professionals for advice about product selection and usage.
  • Refinish: The best part of furniture refinishing is applying the stain and finish that you’ve always dreamed about seeing on the piece. Take your time and enjoy this part because, if done correctly, your work will last for years.

Working with furniture refinishing in Pensacola, FL is a satisfying and fun project if done right. Following these simple steps will get you started, but as always, you should feel free to call Fresh Start Painting Inc. if you run into any glitches or roadblocks, or if you just want some professional assistance.

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