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How To Restore Antique Furnishing

Here are some practical tips on how to restore your antique furniture and add character to your home.

Antique furniture can add a unique character to your home, provided they are maintained properly. If you’ve been meaning to restore your antique furniture so you can display them again in all their glory, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Know The Value Of The Furniture

Antique restoration is something a professional should perform if your piece is valuable. You could have old dusty pieces of furnishing in your attic left to you by your parents or grandparents. Some could be valuable and should be restored to its old glory by a professional antique restorer.

If you are just restoring an old piece of furnishing that isn’t from the Ming Dynasty or the like, you could probably do it yourself. Restoring your old chair or table could make it useful and decorative for your home or office. It is a great way to furnish your home with interesting pieces without buying expensive, brand new furniture.

What You Need:

To restore your antique furniture, you will need the ff:

  • Safety eye-wear
  • Rubber gloves
  • Drop cloth
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Long pants or old sweats
  • A pair of old sneakers or any close-toed shoes
  • Semi-paste stripper
  • Paint brushes
  • Steel wool
  • Lacquer thinner
  • Old rags
  • 150 grit sander
  • Wood stain
  • Tack cloth
  • Polyurethane

Before doing anything or beginning your antique furniture restoration, open your windows to let fresh air in. It would be ideal to be able to work outdoors or in an open garage for better ventilation. The chemicals and solutions you will be using can be harmful if inhaled in large quantities in enclosed places.

Get your drop cloth and wear your gloves and eye protection. You can wear your long pants, long-sleeved shirt, and shoes to protect your skin from chemicals spills. Apply the stripper with a brush and use a little at a time because excess stripper will simply evaporate. Check the directions on the stripper’s label about guidelines on how long you should leave the stripper on the furniture.

After soaking your furniture in a stripper, take your steel wool and rub off the surface varnish. You can also use a putty knife to remove the varnish. Rub the surface in the direction of the wood grain. Wipe down the furniture and then apply the lacquer thinner on the antique furniture with a brush. The thinner will neutralise the stripper and remove residue on the surface.

Sand the surface gently to remove remaining stain or varnish. Wipe off the dust created by the sanding process. Apply a new layer of stain to the wood with a brush. Remove excess stain with a rag and allow your furniture to dry. Check the stain’s label for the recommended drying time.

After it dries, paint on 2 coats of polyurethane to seal the new finish. Let each layer dry completely before applying the second coat of polyurethane. Sand the first coat lightly before applying the second and final coat. Your antique furnishings restoration project should produce fresh looking antique furniture you can proudly display and use in your home.

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