Deciding on a furniture restoration project is much like enlisting your much-loved furniture for a rejuvenation camp. Just as it is for many of us, every piece of furniture could hold special memories for you too. Furniture restoration is an essential task when you spot attractive old furniture.
With some simple furniture restoration tips, a small table or an antique closet can be yours at a reasonable price. Read further to understand all facts related to furniture restoration. Our step-by-step home-based furniture restoration guide can help you accomplish the task successfully.
Justify furniture restoration
Apart from routine wear and tear, antique or even general furniture is occasionally subjected to minor mishandling, neglect and/or improper maintenance. Through various simple furniture restoration techniques, you can simply revive the furniture, bring back its original charm and shine and make it last for a lifetime.
Besides carrying emotional value, the quality aspect and the major investment you have made are other valuable reasons that justify the need for furniture restoration. Older furniture undeniably carries more value for money, excellence in quality of material (real wood and wood veneers), design, the craftsmanship and finish when compared to newer furniture.
Moreover, everyone who cares and works to protect the environment would well settle for furniture restoration instead of buying light weight, cheap, disposable furniture, the output of cutting trees thereby resulting in further depletion of natural resources.
Furniture restoration guide
Furniture restoration actually includes cleaning, making essential repairs, touching up and finally applying a finish over the original furniture. The amazing transformation helps retain its past glory.
Furniture condition: Before embarking on a furniture restoration project, take stock of the existing condition of furniture and finalize the condition you would like to restore it to. A specific restoration plan appropriate for each piece of furniture should be prepared. Find out if there are loose areas that ought to be fixed.
Furniture materials: Having assessed the furniture condition and the restoration work that is required to retain its past glory, find out the kind of finish used, the wood used, its properties, the sources and availability today, the design and craftsmanship involved. The kind of finish used carries more weightage than the type of wood used in determining the care and procedure to be adopted.
Wood finish can be soft or hard or painted. Painted wood can be oiled, lacquer, shellac, varnish or polyurethane or just painted. Depending on the type of finish or the furniture surface, the furniture cleaning process can be determined so as to remove dirt without spoiling the furniture surface.
Furniture cleaning: Furniture restoration always starts with good cleaning. Depending on the materials used, appropriate tools are required to carry out a gentle and meticulous cleaning. Keep ready lots of all-cotton soft clothes, soft paper towels, soft bristle toothbrush, toothpicks, a dowel (size of a pencil), and 0000 steel wool. Abundant patience to get into the nooks and crannies and dust settlements in the stubborn areas is of the essence.
1. Use standard furniture cleaning products to clean build of wax or dirt accumulated over time, which can darken and obscure the grain pattern of the wood.
2. Gilt wood finish furniture is water-soluble. Therefore, it is sufficient to dust and clean.
3. Use lint free cloth to gently wipe out loose dust settlements.
4. Use a soft bristle brush to remove dust from carved surfaces
5. Avoid using feather dusters as it can scratch the furniture surface.
6. Use diluted naphtha, spirit or paint thinner to remove wax, oil accumulation. Dip cotton ball in the cleaning agent and apply on furniture surface not visible to the eye in order to determine which doesn't cause any damage.
Review furniture restoration: Review essential restoration needed for reviving original state. Carry out structural and cosmetic repair with utmost care using the same related techniques. Seek professional advice and guidance when required. The whole process includes repairing and replacement of parts, replacement of furniture springs, using adhesives to re-glue broken frames, removal and polishing of hardware, removing old finish and provide an appropriate new finish. Any over-hauling work like restructuring the entire piece of furniture forms part of this step.
Remove stains, discoloration, scratches etc The items required are mostly available in your kitchen or the garage. You need to work towards removing stains, scratches, heat rings, watermarks, paint marks, sticking paper, wax or gum and blemishes on furniture surface.
Remove white spots or rings formed on shellac and lacquer finishes by gently wiping the stained surface with few drops of denatured alcohol. If the white spots can't be removed, use homemade abrasives. Mix accumulated cigarette ash with a few drops of vegetable oil, light mineral oil or linseed oil to prepare a homemade abrasive paste.
Rub the paste over the stained area, allow it for few minutes and wipe the surface with a soft cloth. Repeat the procedure in order to completely remove the white spots. If not effective, repeat the process with a mixture of rottenstone and linseed oil. Be gentle and slow do not exert pressure. Finally, wax and polish the surface. Sometimes, two coats of wax may be required.
Remove blushing; which is mostly found on old shellac and lacquer wood furniture finishes. You can recognize blushing if the furniture appears discolored. The removal process is the same as that of white spots.
Remove black spots, the result of water penetration through the finish throughout the entire wood. Black spots removal may result in slight damage to the furniture finish. So refinishing can't be avoided. Hence, the entire piece may require stripping. Post black spots removal; bleach the entire surface with an oxalic acid solution. Finally, refinish in the appropriate manner.
Any wax or gum spots removal begins with making them brittle. Take ice cubes, wrap in a cotton towel or paper towel. Press it over the gum or wax spots. Allow the deposit to harden. Your thumbnail can now lift it off. Avoid scraping as the furniture finish can get affected. Wind up with appropriate finish.
The final appearance to a great extent depends on how well you have carried out each step related to furniture restoration. Followed by good care and proper maintenance, your furniture is sure to retain its beauty and charm, which can enhance a room and bring pleasure to you and others