Turning Old into New: Five Tips for Restoring Furniture

Posted on: 5th February 2013

saving moneyNothing compares to the joy of taking home an old piece of furniture and restoring it to look new again. It’s amazing what a new coat of paint can do for colourless wood and plastic.

When you’re restoring furniture, the aim is to bring the piece back to its former glory. This is not just your regular home improvement; the restoration should add value to the piece.  Here are five useful tips for restoring old furniture

The end result depends on the amount of time you spend on the project

You have just found the perfect piece of furniture, but it needs some restoration work.  Before taking the piece home you need to remember that even a small piece of furniture needs several hours of detailed work to restore it to its former glory. The more complex the piece of furniture, the more hours required to complete the restoration. Pieces with intricate carvings, for example, will require several days to perfect.

Know your budget

When you have decided to take home a piece of furniture to restore, you will need to set a budget. For pieces that aren’t very valuable, you will need to decide how much money you are willing to spend. When you make your budget you will also need to factor in time. Some projects will require a simple fix while others will eat money and time, making them more hassle than they’re worth.

Safety is your first priority

Before you begin restoring your piece, check that you’re in a safe environment. Your health should be your number one priority. You will need to have the necessary gear to protect your limbs from injuries, and your lungs from fumes. Long sleeved clothing protects skin from dangerous chemicals and goggles shield eyes from wood splinters and projectiles. The room you’re restoring in should be properly ventilated, and you should always wear a mask to prevent vapor inhalation.

Clean the object before restoration

Before you take out your paintbrush, the piece you’re about to restore should be cleaned thoroughly. A piece of furniture that has been neglected for some time will have accumulated dirt. By removing this dirt, you may be surprised by a beautiful finish underneath. Buffing and cleaning may be all the piece of furniture needs to look as good as new.


You need to repair and replace broken and loose pieces of furniture. Search the piece thoroughly for any broken pieces of wood. If it wobbles, check the screws and tighten them. Remove rusty screws and replace them. Small pieces that are broken can be joined with wood glue. Fill cracks with putty, and complete the job with a stain or finish.

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