The decoration of a house is defined by its furniture. There are some extremely beautiful pieces of family heirlooms that have been sitting and acquiring dirt over the years. With years of dust and grime neither the glow of the color remains nor does the finesse of the texture. Is the solution then to throw away all such furniture? Absolutely not, we say. You can restore old wooden furniture and that is what we will be telling you about in this article. It is time to make all the old furniture appear as good as new and renovate the furniture of your house instead of spending money in buying new ones.
Steps to follow to restore old wooden furniture
- Things you will need:
Before you begin these are the things you will be needing for the procedure. Paint brushes, dust mask, work gloves, chemical stripper along with stripping tools are a must have. You would also need a fine glass paper or sanding block, wood dye, polish and wax remover and good quality steel wool, finishing oil, wax polish and tack cloth or lint free cloths. Now that you have all of these you may begin to restore old wooden furniture.
- The preparation for doing the stripping back: This is a task that ends up being a lot messier than anticipated. So, it is best if you can take the furniture outdoors for this purpose. In case that is not possible and you have to work indoors, remember to protect the floor area and make sure that the ventilation is sufficient for such work. You do not want to damage the finish and so a good thing to do can be to cover the body in a sheet of plastic such that just the topmost part is exposed. Now use a brush and be liberal with the application of the stripper.
- The layers should be allowed time to dissolve:
This should take anywhere between five to thirty minutes of time. The finish should have dissolved completely and in case it still has not you might want to leave it on for some more time or apply more products. The time is in fact dependent on the thickness of the layers and its composition. Before proceeding further to preserve your antique furniture it is important to get these right first.
- The chemical stripper has to be neutralized: For this, you will have to use the steel wool pad and it has to be soaked in white spirit or the proprietary wax and polish remover. But before you go on to use a particular chemical you must know exactly what chemical to use as the wrong ones can fail to neutralize the stripper and could be reactive for your furniture. This is thus a vital step in the restoration technique if you want to see your old furniture in a condition as good as new.
- The rest of the table needs to be cleaned:
This again is an important task and should not be done in a hurry. Any residue elsewhere in the table is to be neatly wiped off with a cotton rag and then the table should be left for about 24 hours before further steps. The old polish and the dirt can be removed by the use of wax remover to a steel wool pad. During this time make sure that you focus on small areas during a particular time and make the work neat. Do not let the wax to solidify and after a few minutes wipe it off using a clean piece of cloth.
- Use the sanding block and the glass paper: The wooden fibers have been raised while the process of stripping was taking place and so after about 24 hours it is time to smoothen them again. Then you will need to vacuum and shake the protective sheet as that would ensure that no dust would be spoiling the finished product. Wipe the topmost part after you are done with the process.
- Furniture wax and the finishing touch:
Use good quality of furniture wax all over the furniture and use a lint free cloth to polish it off. Make sure that you do not keep the furniture in direct sunlight or near a fire source at this stage.
- Deal with the areas of bleached wood: The family heirlooms sit in direct sunlight for ages. It is thus only natural that some parts of the furniture get bleached and discolored. For this purpose the mahogany wood dye comes in very handy in restoring the original nice color of the furniture. Use a brush and apply in sufficient quantities. You must ensure that the stain is allowed to penetrate. Once done with the procedure you can then wipe away all the excess stuff with a clean piece of cloth. While indulging in this particular task it is best to work in the best of lighting conditions because this is an important stage to restore old wooden furniture and you cannot afford to get this wrong.
- The sheen and the finish have to be improved: Use a cloth that is lint free and a brush and carefully apply the finishing oil once the furniture is adequately dry. It takes about ten minutes for the oil to go through and then the surplus should be wiped off lest you have sticky furniture. Wait for about five hours before the application of another coat of this finishing oil using steel wool. In this case the more the number of coats the more successfully you can restore old wooden furniture.
The process of preservation of antique furniture is not just about saving money. The age old furniture is associated with a lot of memories and good times of the family. To throw them away thus is like discarding a part of the family. Now that you know about the right restoration technique we hope that you will put it to good use. Let the furniture in your house shine as good as new after the procedure is complete.