Pin It

5 Steps to Restore your Antique Furniture

Restoring antique furniture means taking a valuable piece and opening it to possibilities. It could be an antique Louis XVI chair that needs reupholstering, or a coffee table with a paint job that needs updating. Bringing your antique furniture to its former state of elegance can be a challenging task but its results can be rewarding. Here are the steps and processes involved in restoring your antique furniture.

Antique Restoration

1. Clean

Before any restoration work, your furniture needs a good cleaning. Cleaning is necessary to rid of dirt and dust that may have settled on the surface or in between the crevices of your furniture. Choose your cleaning agents depending on the type of material your furniture is made of. Make sure that these cleaning agents do not damage or dilute your furniture’s original tint. You can also use tried and true cleaning materials that can be found in the home, such as toothpaste to remove water marks or milk to rid your favorite vinyl pieces of stains.


2. Inspect for damages

Whether or not the antique furniture was frequently used, the piece should always be checked for damages before restoration. The damage can be a chipped material or a discoloration because of light and other elements. Look for scratches, broken knobs, loose hinges, or non-functioning locks.


3. Sand

One of the things that you need to do—and do a lot—when restoring antique furniture is sanding. Sanding helps eliminate blemishes, scratches, and discoloration. It will also help new paint and stains adhere to the surface of your furniture. Most wood experts use 80, 100 or 120-grit sandpaper. Always sand following the grain so as not to make unnecessary scratches.


4. Finish

One of the most exciting parts of restoring antique furniture is painting or applying stain to it. This way you can either recreate the original look of your furniture or give it a fresh new look by changing its hue or color. Apply varnish or paint following the grain. Make sure that you are able to see every inch of the wood for better coverage. Stains and paints can give your furniture a fresh look. It also protects the material from dirt, moisture or damage prolonging the longevity of your favorite pieces.


5. Repair

No restoration is complete without repairs. Consult a professional about getting quality parts such as locks and knobs. Replace broken or worn out parts. Reupholster your antique chairs and sofas to give them a fresh start. To ensure that your furniture looks good as new, see that it is also as durable.


Restoring antique furniture can be very rewarding. It not only allows you to see your favorite pieces in a new light, but also it allows you to use them longer. Experiment with colors and uses, and give damaged pieces a second life by using your imagination.



About the author: Angie Cole is a fan of everything vintage and admires the true old-world craftsmanship. She is a fan of Antiques on Old Plank Road, a furniture shop that imports and restores European quality antique and vintage pieces.