Sarah's Personal Blog

Read my opinions on some interesting topics

How to renovate furniture using simple tools

I am a frequent visitor on Pinterest, and mostly follow DIY and home improvement-related topics and users. Recently i’ve been especially impressed by those before-after photos, that show old piece of furniture before and after users renovated them by themselves. After months of looking at dozens of those, i decided that i could do it myself and set out to collect every supply necessary to pull it off. I didn’t need to buy old furniture from garage sales, since i had plenty of my own. With that, i’ll try to tell the story of my journey.

Course of action for refinishing furniture mostly depends on the furniture itself and what kind of condition it’s in. You have to also figure out the quality of the material. Older furniture, built before 60s, is usually made of solid wood and therefore it is way more sturdy than modern pieces. Solid wood also allows the woodworker more liberties when refinishing the product. Although i should mention that it’s not just about the material – structure and tools used are also important. The point is, that solidly built furniture with solid materials is much better to work on. Cheaply built pieces, on the other hand, might not be worth renovating in the first place.

If you’re planning to make furniture out of entirely new wood, decent log splitter is something you’ll need. This tutorial explains ins and outs of buying splitter pretty well.

 If the furniture you’re planning to refinish is still in good condition, you might not have to refinish it in the first place. Sometimes waxing and cleaning it might do the trick. But if the wood has dents and other visible damages, it’s probably better to refinish it. For which, you first have to remove the existing finish. There are special tools and products for doing that, but i like it to keep it simple by using power sander, which gets the job done just fine. After that, you should work on fixing everything wrong with it, before applying new finish.

 Deciding whether to refinish your furniture or keep it as it is and simply clean it, is fairly straightforward. If the furniture is visibly damaged, and signs of use are visible to the naked eye, it’s probably time to refinish and repair. If not, i think it’s better to wait until signs of use become apparent, but if you are perfectionist and don’t like even slightest signs of wear, you can go ahead and do it anyway. It will just cost time and some money, and if you think that’s worth it, then go right ahead.

These endevours might even be good source of cash, for those of you with entrepreneurial drives. Most of these cost very little to buy, and once refinished, can be easily sold for couple of hundred bucks. I haven’t sold any of these, so I don’t know much about economics of the process, but i my common sense is telling me there should be nice profit in this work.  Especially if you really love what you’re doing. I guess that’s closest to what people call dream job.

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