Garage sales, thrift stores, and grandparents’ basements are all full of old wooden furniture. The items may be warped or beat up in appearance; however, by looking past the years of use and abuse, you’ll see that a new and attractive piece of furniture is waiting to be revealed.
Restoring a piece of furniture can be both fun and challenging. It will cost you far less than buying a new piece of wooden furniture, and what’s more, with a little bit of work, your piece can be one-of-a-kind. The tips below should help you come up with some ideas for revamping an old wooden piece:
Paint and Stain
The most common way to revamp furniture is to use paint or stain. When staining, the original look of the wood- including grain patterns, knots, etc.- is mostly preserved; you simply change the color. When painting, most of the wood’s natural characteristics are covered up. Many experts recommend against painting valuable antique pieces, as paint is much harder to reverse than stain, but if you are convinced that paint is the right choice for you, there’s no reason to avoid it. Although paint is more restrictive in terms of reversing your decision later on, paint also allows for more creativity and for bolder statements, so the choice is yours.
Before painting or staining, it is important to strip away any imperfections and to completely sand the piece to create an even surface. Once sanded, prepare to prime or stain the piece. Primer and stain can be purchased at any local hardware or department store. Primer or stain should be applied evenly throughout the entire piece, and you should take care to apply it with the wood’s grain.
Once the primer (or stain) has dried, wipe the entire piece down, and prepare to paint it (or if you’re staining the piece, to apply varnish). If the piece will be inside a home, be sure to choose a paint that is safe for indoor use. Continue to apply coats of paint, stain, or varnish until you are satisfied with the outcome. Let the substance dry overnight, and then carefully evaluate your work, making sure to check for thick or thin spots, color inconsistencies, streaks, and other imperfections that could detract from the final project.
Wallpapering an older piece of wooden furniture can also give it new life. With a little mod-podge and paper, the inside of a bookshelf or cabinets can be given a pop of color and texture. Wallpapering furniture is a clean, easy way to add design and uniqueness to a piece of furniture while also working to incorporate it into the rest of the room’s design. What’s more, generally speaking, wallpaper is easy to remove, making it a great choice if you’re the type of person who changes your mind often.
Mosaic patterns are a fun and unique way to add interest to any piece of furniture. Pennies, glass pieces, stones, and bottle caps are often used to decorate the tops or sides of tables, bookshelves, chairs, and more. Although sometimes time-consuming, mosaic work will help to transform your furniture from a boring wooden piece into the focal point of your entire room.
Another way to add new life to an older piece of furniture is to make additions to its existing structure. Choosing to add or replace table legs, to cover a piece in mirror, or to otherwise alter the piece’s basic structure is a great way to take a piece of furniture to the next level. Some of these additions (such as adding a mirror to the top of a coffee table) are quite simple and basic, making them fun and easy ways to expand the furniture and make it more useful in your home.
When restoring any wood furniture, it is often important to know what type of wood you are working with. Not only does this help you to determine the value of the piece, but it will also come in handy when it comes time to make repairs. With an extensive background and knowledge of lumber, McIlvain Company is perfectly equipped to help you with your next restoration project. With over 200 years of experience providing the best quality lumber to all customers, the lumber experts at J. Gibson McIlvain, one of the nation’s oldest lumber import and wholesale companies, are ready to answer your questions and help you find the best type of wood for your next project. McIlvain’s extensive inventory of domestic and exotic hardwoods and softwoods, plywoods, and custom and catalog millwork means that they’re sure to have the lumber materials you need. For more information or a free quote, visit McIlvain’s website today, or check out these selections from their blog: