DIY Wooden Furniture Restoration Tips and Tricks

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Wooden furniture restoration has definitely fallen out of favor in the past couple of years. People believe that it is either too difficult to even try, or they believe that the results will be lackluster. Combine that with the overall culture of consumerism, and you will easily see why today’s people choose to buy a new coffee table, instead of restoring their old one.

So, to give you an idea of how easy and straightforward restoring wooden furniture can be, let’s cover a couple of helpful tips and tricks. With any luck, these should inspire you to roll up your sleeves and give your old wooden table a makeover.

Preparing for DIY projects

Before I go into the process of restoring wooden furniture, we should cover preparations. Wooden furniture restoration, just like any other DIY project, requires tools and skills in order to be done properly. Furthermore, if you don’t get the necessary safety equipment, you might end up hurting yourself. So, before you start your restoration project, there are a couple of things you need to get.

Every DIY project requires proper safety equipment.

Preparing for DIY projects

Getting proper supplies

What will you actually need for your project? Well, that depends. Different restoration projects require different supplies. And in some cases, you will have different options to choose from for the same job. So, you have some choice-making to do in your future. Now, let’s make that a bit easier by listing some of the most common supplies and tools used for wooden furniture restoration.

  • Protective goggles – There is a reason why I’m putting this first. Do not attempt to work with wood without putting on protective goggles.
  • Work gloves and boots – No matter the project, you need to have a decent pair of work gloves and boots.
  • Metal ruler.
  • Brushes.
  • Cloths and rags.
  • Wood glue.
  • Sandpaper and a sanding block (maybe even a power sander).
  • The finish of your choice – People usually go for either French polish, wax or oil. But, this will depend mostly on the type of furniture you are restoring.

Should you attempt To Restore Your Furniture 

Another thing to consider, before you start restoring your wooden furniture is weather or not you can deal with it properly. Wooden furniture restoration doesn’t require much money. But it will require considerable time and energy from your part. And, you might not be even able to restore it properly. Keep in mind that you can actually end up damaging or even completely ruining it with amateur restoration. Especially if it is an antique piece.

How to go about wooden furniture restoration

So, now that you have your tools and you’ve decided that restoration is a risk worth taking, let’s go over some steps. It is highly important that you carefully follow these steps and to not skip them, even if they may seem redundant at first glance.

Major restoration or minor restoration?

The first thing you need to do is to carefully survey your furniture. If, for instance, there are large scratches, oil stains ingrained in the wood, or if any piece of furniture is bent, you are dealing with major restorations. In 99% of the time, you want to call movers like the Best Cross Country Movers and transport your furniture to the best wood restorer you can find. There is a good chase that you will only further damage your furniture if you attempt restorations of this kind. So, do yourself a favor and call professionals.

Antique furniture work

Some wooden furniture restoration should only be attempted by a professional.

But, on the other hand, if your furniture only has surface damage or it is a bit wobbly, worry not. You can easily deal with these restorations.


Start off with sanding the damaged surface. Remember to wear protective equipment as it is going to get dusty. It is usually a good idea to start off with an 80 – 100 grit paper, as most wooden furniture only has a thin layer of coating. Pieces like coffee tables or corner TV stands can be made from solid wood, but most modern furniture is thinly veneered. This makes it extra fragile when it comes to sanding, as you can easily get to the base of the wood. You should also consider dismantling your furniture first, as you will sand it much easier.  Also, remember not to touch your furniture with bare hands once you are done with sanding. You don’t want to leave any stains.

Furniture Repairs

Your furniture needs to stand firm and strong if you are to use it for years to come. So, you need to make sure that there aren’t any loose joints. If there are, I would suggest that you squeeze some wood glue into them in order to tighten them up. If you are having a hard time reaching the joint, you can consider putting your glue into a syringe and them applying it. Know that you will have to keep your joints clamped tight for a while in order to glue to set it. So, try to figure out beforehand how you are going to secure that your furniture doesn’t move. A similar technique can be applied to any other part of the furniture that is wobbly. Just make sure to let the glue set before you proceed.

You can fix most of the wooden furniture with a bit of wood glue.

Wood glue and repairs can fix almost anything


Once you finish your repairs, you need to sand your furniture one more time. This is to ensure that it is as even as possible, even after repairs. After that, you will need to apply your finish. Now, as I mentioned before, there are different types of finish that depend on your furniture. If you want to improve your kitchen, you can apply French finish to the kitchen chairs.

On the other hand, if you want to make your coffee table shine, I suggest that you oil it. Find out which kind of wood was used to make it, and then use the appropriate oil for it. And with that, you should be done with your wooden furniture restoration.

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