Antiques, Vintage, Retro, Used Furniture and
Collectibles in Fayetteville, North Carolina
Call Us: (910) 488-7004 or Connect:

How To Refinish An Antique

What Is Refinishing?

In terms of woodwork and furniture, refinishing refers to “the act of repairing or reapplying the wood finishing on an object. In practice, this may apply to the paint or wood finish top coat, lacquer or varnish.” In layman’s terms, you are giving the furniture a new surface appearance.

Is It Safe To Refinish An Antique?Antique Furniture

Yes, it is safe. But there is some debate about whether or not you should refinish an antique piece of furniture. The major thing to think about is whether or not you want to resell the item. If not, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to diminishing the value of the item. Though, in most cases, when you refinish an antique piece of furniture, you’re going to end up raising the value of the item. All in all, it’s safe to refinish antique furniture, but the choice of whether or not you’d like to do it is up to you.

How To Refinish An Antique

  1. Apply the stripping agent.
    Apply the stripping agent with a paint brush in a thick layer, making sure to go in one direction. Leave it on the furniture for the recommended amount of time. If the paint or varnish doesn’t come off, apply a second coat of stripper and leave on for the recommended amount of time again.
  2. Remove the extra stripper residue.
    Remove as much of the stripper as possible with a putty knife or stripping pad. After removing what residue you can, use a damp cloth to remove the rest of the residue. Allow the furniture to dry.
  3. Make any necessary repairs.
    Some pieces may need to be repaired. Keep in mind that the less a piece is repaired, the more value it retains as an antique if you intend to resell the item.
  4.  Add the distressing marks.
    Use a hammer to make the repaired furniture look like an antique piece. Add a few dents and dings to give it some character. You can also bang or roll a rock on it to distress the wood.
  5. Apply the stain.
    Stain the new wood the color stain that you desire. If you need to fill any holes with putty, make sure to add stain to the putty while mixing. Some putties do not accept stain well after drying.
  6. Attach the replacement pieces.
    If needed, attach the replacement pieces and secure with nails screws, or wood glue.
  7. Sand the entire piece.
    Sanding will ensure there are no frays or damage that can be smoothed over. Use a damp rag to remove sanding dust.
  8. Apply a final coat of stain.
    When the piece is dry, bring it to a lit up area and apply a final coat of stain evenly. It is recommended to apply the stain with a lint-free rag.

Why Would I Want To Refinish An Antique?

The piece may not match your current decoration situation. The piece may be damaged and needs a little bit of TLC. Whatever your reason, refinishing your antique furniture is a great task! You can refinish just about any piece of furniture to your heart’s content. We hope this blog has helped you in your refinishing endeavors!


Leave a Comment