top of page

How to Restore Wood Furniture

Wood is expensive, and with the rise in global warming due to mass deforestation, it is high time we learned how to restore wood furniture and reuse it again. By learning skills to repair old wood furniture, you will be able to take advantage of the old things and create various new things. In your kitchen cabinet, many household items might be useful for fixing the wooden pieces you have. Therefore, restoring wooden furniture is a project that is fairly exciting to undertake.

There are two ways to fix wooden furniture. The first way is to use products that help in cleaning and making the wood shine, while the second way is to sand your wooden furniture very well. In this blog, we will discuss these two processes, and you will learn the best ways to restore wooden furniture.

The Initial Process

These instructions explain the first method for refinishing wood furniture and you can find them here:


For cleaning wooden furniture, you should use a soap solution made specially for wood cleaning. People who collect or love old furniture often choose wood-cleaning soaps like oil soaps etc. Other similar products also can be found in stores that sell furniture. But you can make your cleaning mixture by mixing one tablespoon of gentle dishwashing soap with one gallon of water in a bowl. To clean wooden furniture, dip a cloth into the mix and then rub it over the surface.

Apply Petroleum Jelly

Applying petroleum jelly on wooden tables can work well to get rid of water stains and white rings. Let the jelly stay on the marks and spots all night long so it has enough time to do its job. After you do this, use a clean towel to wipe the surface down the next day.

Use Epoxy

If your wooden furniture has got some chips, you can repair it using epoxy putty or wax so it looks like new again. You roll the putty or wax into a small ball with your fingers and then cut it to the right size for fitting in the chip area on your furniture. While putty is good for fixing bigger cracks and breaks, wax is often used for smaller problems. To make the color match with wooden furniture, you can apply wood stain on top of the putty and then paint it.

Gel Stain

If your wooden furniture loses its color, you can make it look new again by using gel stain. Take a soft cloth and put some stain on it, then gently rub the stain onto the wood. After that, let the furniture sit to dry all night long. Using a wipe-on wood finish from the store will give your wooden furniture a protective layer. This helps bring back the shine to your wooden items and accessories.

The Sanding Process

Using sandpaper is the second method you can apply to restore wooden furniture. Follow these instructions and tips for guidance:

  • Firstly, clean every piece of wooden furniture using a detergent or any multi-purpose cleaner you like. You can use a cloth to carefully wipe away dust and dirt from the wood. This is one option. Before sanding down the surface of the wood, the wood must be clean.

  • Scrub the wood surface in circles with rough sandpaper to get what you want. Sanding helps take off all layers of paint and primer, showing the bare wood below. Sandpaper which is called coarse usually has a grit grade between 40 and 60. When sanding, it makes lots of dust and small particles, so wearing protective gear like a face mask and gloves is very important for safety.

  • When you finish sanding, use a brush, soft broom, or towel to clean up the dust. Many woodworkers and hobbyists like tack clothes very much for this job. Check them out on the internet.

  • After you finish the main part of sanding, switch to softer sandpaper to make the hardwood surface smooth. Sandpapers with smaller grains have higher grit numbers; so, use 120 or 240 grit grade. You might achieve a better finish by touching the wood to find any rough spots and then sanding them smooth.

Cleaning after Sanding

Mineral turpentine is very useful for cleaning up the mess and tiny dust left after sanding. When you use mineral turps on wood, it usually makes the wood look natural again, and you can choose to keep that natural look if you like. Make sure you do not breathe in the vapors that come from turpentine because they are usually toxic and can be fatal. You can make your furniture have a natural wooden shine by using teak oil, tung oil, or other types of furniture oils. Use a piece of cloth to put these oils on the wood. Put it somewhere where it can dry out overnight.


You change the color of wood furniture by applying varnish or a wood stain, using long and even strokes. This method gives you the look you want. When the last layer of stain or varnish is all dry, you can use sandpaper with very fine grains to make the surface smooth. Put on another coat of varnish or stain and let it dry again. When you put more coats of varnish or stain on your hardwood furniture, it will look darker. So, if you want your furniture to be lighter in color, just apply one coat only.


The above-mentioned repair tips are not only helpful in reducing the extent of deforestation but also play an important role in helping you prevent spending additional money on buying new wooden furniture. Learning these steps will empower you with a wealth of knowledge that will prove to be helpful when you need it the most. Make sure to learn more by doing more research to get the best results. Before you know it, you will be well on your way to becoming an expert in restoring old wood furniture.

7 views0 comments


bottom of page