Tips for Restoring Antique Furniture Like a Pro

Antique furniture never seems to lose its appeal. Due to the quality of the workmanship, even when they have lost their sheen, most antique pieces can become items of beauty with refinishing. Good furniture restorers can bring old furniture back to its original state easily.  While you can restore old furniture yourself, you sometimes run the risk of ruining an expensive piece of furniture by using the wrong technique and material. The steps below are for one method of furniture restoration that works well for many items, such as a desk.

Material Needed

  • Sandpaper
  • Sander (optional)
  • Stain
  • Finish
  • Stripping gel/stripper
  • Putty
  • Liquid wood
  • Old rags and cloth
  • Safety Goggles
  • Brushes
  • Dust mask
  • Work gloves

Step 1

You should wash or clean the desk before you do anything else. Afterwards, you will be able to see what condition it is in and what repairs if any are necessary before you start the work.

Step 2

Apply stripping gel or stripper to the surface of the desk to remove any old paint or varnish. You can choose to use an environmentally friendly product that may take a little longer than some heavy-duty commercial strength strippers. Let the stripping agent sit for a while until you can peel it off. Most of the old material will come off with the gel. Any residue can be gently lifted off with a palette knife.

Step 3

For a large desk, you should consider using a sander on the surface, while smaller areas can be done using sandpaper. Coarse sandpaper should be used first and followed by a finer grit after most of the hard sanding is done. Use a brush to remove any residue as this can cause the finish to look grainy.

Step 4

At this stage, you may notice areas of the wood that need some patching. Here you can use putty or liquid wood to fill in rotten areas or deep pits in the desk. Other types of repairs may be needed, so you can do these yourself or seek professional help like from Clifton Upholstery, especially if there is major damage.

Step 5

After dusting it off you can apply the finish of your choice. You can apply more than one coat until you get the colour and look that you want. You should buy a good quality finish so that the desk will look good and last a long time with proper care.

Using professional furniture restorers is the best way to ensure that antique desk you have in your attic or study will always look as good as new.