If you find an interesting old piece of furniture at a yard sale or inherit your grandparents' old furniture, you may have dreams of restoring the furniture to its original beauty. Furniture refinishing is often a difficult job, so if you don't know how and you don't want to learn, then you can hire someone to do it for you. Here's an overview of the process.
Decide If Refinishing Is Appropriate
First, you want to make sure refinishing is the right thing to do. If the furniture is solid wood and an antique, it might be valuable. Refinishing it might reduce its value even if it improves its appearance. You may want professional guidance on whether refinishing is appropriate for potentially valuable furniture. Also, you'll want to make sure the furniture can't simply be rejuvenated without having to strip off the current finish. Cleaning the furniture and waxing it might restore its luster as long as it hasn't been painted. If the furniture has damaged areas too, then it might be best to refinish it even if the piece has varnish so repairs can be made before the new finish is applied.
Strip Off Paint Or Old Varnish
The tricky part of furniture refinishing is getting rid of the layers of paint and old varnish already on the furniture. You could use chemical strippers or a sander. However, both of these can result in less than perfect results when you're a beginner at furniture restoration. Using sandpaper by hand is too tedious, so you'll need to use a sander and know how to control it. Once you've removed old layers of paint, the beauty of the wood will show through, and you can assess the damage to the furniture that should be repaired by filling in or gluing pieces back in place.
Apply The New Finish
Applying the finish is the easiest step since sanding is so much work; however, you need to know what to apply and the steps involved. This is where professional help could be needed as well. Once the furniture has been sanded down to bare wood, you may want to apply a sealer that helps the finish have a more uniform color. You may also need to apply grain filler to wood that has large grain. Then, it's time to apply your chosen stain.
There are several types and colors of stains to choose from, or you could even use paint if you want the furniture to be white or colorful. Once the paint is dry, it's time to add the finish, which gives the wood luster and protects the furniture from damage.
If you've never refinished furniture before, you might want to learn the process by starting on a small chair or stool first. Starting with a large table or dresser might be overwhelming for a beginner, and you may feel safer with letting a professional do the job when the furniture has monetary or sentimental value.