How to Restore Wood Furniture

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How to Restore Furniture

Restoring worn-out wood furniture that still has good bones simply means removing the tired outer shell and providing it with a new face. This might include applying new stain or paint, sanding out nicks and dents, or adding new hardware to spruce it up. Before tossing out a perfectly good piece of furniture, learn how to make that chair, desk, or table look like new by restoring it.

Refinish Wood Furniture

Although the exterior may appear rough around the edges, a new coat of stain or paint can bring a wood piece back to life. The key is performing the task correctly.

Remove the Old Finish From Wood Furniture

Remove the finish and old stain by sanding it from the furniture. The tools needed for this part of the restoration process include:

  • 80 and 100-grit sandpaper

  • Sanding block

  • Eye protection

  • Face mask

  • Latex gloves

  • Rags

  • Paintbrushes

  • Stain

  • Wood Finish

  • Drop cloths

  • Paint

Set the furniture outside on a concrete patio, driveway, or open garage for proper ventilation. Inspect the furniture, looking for dents or watermarked areas. These places may require a bit more sanding to remove the abrasions. Wrap the 80-grit sandpaper around the sanding block and begin rubbing it moderately over the furniture’s surface. Rub with the grain of the wood and not against it. The 80-grit sandpaper will remove the furniture’s finish and old stain. Switch to the 100-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface. Once achieving the desired smoothness, remove all the sawdust from the furniture’s surface by vacuuming it with a sweeper attachment or a hand-held vacuum. Wipe any left over residue from the surface with a dry rag.

Apply Stain or Paint to the Wood Furniture

Changing the look of a piece of wood furniture is easy with stain or paint. Should a person want to keep the original wood look, a stain in the same or similar shade will breathe new life into the furniture. Paint is another way to add colour and spice up a dull space.

Staining Wood Furniture

Apply the stain to a clean rag and wipe it on the wood surface following with the grain. The instructions on the stain container tell the user how long to leave the stain on the wood before wiping off. Generally, the longer the stain stays on the wood surface, the darker it becomes. Once the stain achieves the desired shade, wipe the excess from the surface with a clean rag. Apply a wood finish to protect the stain and prevent watermarks or other blemishes from affecting the furniture’s surface.

Painting Wood Furniture

Instead of staining a piece of wood furniture, paint the piece in shades that match existing items in the room or to add a splash of colour. Painting a piece of furniture white, pastel, or with a combination of colours can enhance its appearance and allow it to stand out in the room.
Apply a coat of primer to the wood furniture after removing the sawdust from sanding. Allow the primer to dry, and then add one coat of paint. Add a second coat of paint after the first coat has dried. Paint a desk or dresser one shade and the drawers a lighter colour. This provides more dimension to the room and adds character to the piece.

Replace Dingy Hardware on Furniture

When restoring furniture, it’s wise to replace its hardware as well. Placing worn out looking handles, knobs, or hinges back onto restored furniture will only detract from it. Measure the holes on hinges and handles to ensure the new hardware replacing them will fit.

How to Buy Restoration Tools on eBay

From the eBay homepage, click on Home and Garden. From there, click on the Building Materials, DIY icon. A buyer can choose from the categories listed on the left hand side of the page, or type the item in the search box. The eBay web site provides buyers with a wide selection of used furniture and the tools to restore pieces back to their former glory. Wood stains, paint, eye protection, drop cloths, and new furniture hardware can all be found on eBay. Thoroughly read the seller’s feedback and any stipulations listed, like shipping or cancellation fees. A buyer should contact a seller with any questions prior to buying to ensure a seamless transaction.


Restoring furniture, both indoor and outdoor, isn’t that difficult. If a person loves the style or intricate pattern on a piece of wood furniture, there is no reason to discard it. Add a new style with paint, or bring back its original splendour with a new coat of stain and fresh hardware.

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