The Right Way to Restore Vintage Furniture

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How to Restore Vintage Furniture

furniture can be part of its personality, other flaws may be considered visually unappealing. These kinds of flaws can be remedied with a little effort and know-how.

What Is Vintage?

It is helpful to understand how the term “vintage” should be defined. Many people use the words vintage and antique interchangeably. Vintage furniture is between 30 and 100 years old. Furniture may only be classified as “antique” if it is over 100 years old. If the furniture is not yet 30 years old, it may be simply characterised as “used.”
Vintage furniture’s appeal can be due in part to price. Picking up a vintage piece of furniture will – in most cases – cost the buyer much less than buying something straight from a furniture showroom floor.
Aside from price, many buyers may be searching for an item from a particular time period, such as the 70s. Vintage furniture is often made of quality materials with attention to detail, functionality, and overall visual appeal, which makes it more lasting in terms of style and wear-and-tear.

Cleaning Vintage Furniture

Before attempting to fill in a scratch or beginning any other restoration process, start by cleaning the piece of furniture. It is important to clean it in the most gentle fashion, so as to not change its appearance.
To remove dust and grime, prepare a mild, soapy solution out of dish soap and water. Using a cotton cloth, wipe the surface, but do not dampen the wood excessively.

Repairing Scratches

If the surface of the furniture contains a series of scratches or marks, one way to improve its overall appearance is by rubbing on a coat of scratch cover. Scratch cover is essentially a pigmented furniture polish. It is applied just like furniture polish – sprayed on, and then wiped off with a clean rag.
For single scratches or marks, use a wax stick or wax putty. After selecting a shade to match your piece, fill in the scratch with either material. After wiping the furniture with a cloth dipped in mineral spirits, work more of the wax into the scratch and wipe off when satisfied.

Repairing Shallow Chips

Sometimes vintage furniture has small chips, which some may want to fill in. The chip can be filled in by using a little bit of clear fingernail polish. Adding a few drops of clear fingernail polish to the chipped portions should restore the look of the piece easily. After the polish has dried, rub the surface with 600 grit sandpaper to finish.

Wood Restoration

Water rings can be remedied by wiping the piece of furniture with a cloth dipped lightly in denatured alcohol. Be careful not to apply too much, as this can dull the finish of the piece. To restore a piece of vintage furniture that is already dull, rub it with extra fine 0000 steel wool and paste wax. Be sure to follow all manufacturer recommendations. To bring back a glossy finish that the piece may have once had, auto polishing compound may be applied with a rag.

How to Find Furniture Restoration Supplies on eBay

A great place to begin searching for supplies related to wood repair and restoration is eBay. Typing “furniture restoration” into the eBay search bar will provide myriad items related to restoration, such as leather restorers and the like.
Typing in what product is needed into the eBay search bar will bring buyers directly to the items they seek. Search terms to explore when restoring vintage furniture include “paste wax,” “soft cloth,” and “wax stick.” After this, refine the search by choosing the appropriate category from the sidebar.
If eBay customers are after a piece of vintage furniture instead of restoration supplies, they should type “vintage furniture” in the eBay search bar. Buyers can click on the picture of the item to find buying information. Some items feature a “Buy It Now” option, which makes bidding unnecessary. With any item, buyers should be sure to pay attention to details in the item description, such as shipping charges and return policies. With furniture, it’s especially important to review dimensions and measure the space that the piece will inhabit prior to purchase.


Vintage furniture is appealing to many because of its price, appearance, and uniqueness. Since vintage furniture is aged, it is likely to need a little work at some point in time. Scratches, dings, and water damage can be improved with the right products and a little bit of elbow grease. Vintage furniture enthusiasts can visit eBay to find many unique pieces of vintage furniture as well as supplies needed to keep them looking their best.

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