Wood furniture is in high demand today. Some older pieces of wood furniture that look unattractive can be easily refurbished and sold for a good price. You only need a handful of basic supplies and a little time to turn any piece of old furniture into something that looks like new. You can refurbish old wood furniture for resale in just a few simple steps.
Examine the Furniture Carefully Before Starting
The first step is to carefully examine the furniture before starting. Some old pieces or antiques actually need nothing more than a basic cleaning. If you attempt to refurbish antiques with a new finish, then you could destroy a valuable patina. If you wipe a small amount of denatured alcohol on an unnoticeable area and the finish dissolves or turns into a gel, them the piece usually needs a new finish.
Clean the Wood
The first step is to clean the wood. You should start with warm water and a mild household detergent. You can use a damp cloth to wipe away dust and debris. You might also want to use oil-based furniture cleaner to remove stains and other marks. If detergent and cleaners do not work, then mineral oil might. You should be careful with mineral oil since it can start to remove some of the finish. The piece should be allowed to dry completely after cleaning. Any remaining stains can sometimes be removed by using very fine steel wool to sand away a small amount of the surface.
Strip the Surface
If you decide the furniture needs a new finish, then the next step is to strip the surface. Stripping away paint or an old finish requires using a powerful solvent from a hardware store. The process is different depending on the product. The general process is to apply the stripper, cover the furniture loosely in plastic and then wait anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours for the chemicals to work. You can then remove the stripper and old finish with a scraper, metal ruler or other rigid item. You might need to strip a piece two to three times. The furniture should be washed with water or solvent after the process is done.
Sand the Wood
You should now sand the surface to expose new wood and remove any irregularities or stains. It is best to have a few different grits of sandpaper available. Most of the sanding can be done with 80-grit to 100-grit sandpaper. Every surface that is going to be refinished should be sanded. You should wipe the furniture down with a damp cloth afterwards to remove any remaining wood particles.
Make Important Repairs
If the furniture has unattractive gouges, cracks or other issues, then this is when you can take the time to make repairs. Cracks and gouges can be fixes with wood putty. You fill the hole with wood putty and then sand the surface flat after it has cured. Broken or loose pieces of the furniture can be repaired with wood glue. You simply apply wood glue to both surfaces, press them together tightly and then clamp the parts together for a few hours to a day.
Apply a New Finish
The final step is to apply a new finish. Many different finishes are available today. There are even pigmented finishes that will completely change the color of the wood. The finish should be applied exactly according to the instructions on the packaging. Taking the time to apply two to four coats of a finish will make any piece look like Ethicraft quality living room furniture. It might also help to apply an oil or wax afterwards to add to the brightness of the finish if the grain is very attractive.