Wood is a beautiful material. Unlike plastics and metals, wood can easily be repaired in the home. Items which have been battered and beaten for years can be revitalized and given new life. This can be done in just a few simple steps, depending on how beaten the furniture truly is. And, it’s much cheaper than getting your furniture new. To help you out with this, this post will be going through a general guide to help you with any wood. Of course, you’ll have to do some more research along the way, for your specific wood.
- What You’ll Need
Screwdriver – These will come in handy for any job. It’s best to go for an option with an array of bits, to save carrying around more than one tool.
Small Saw – If you need to do some repairs on your furniture, a small saw will also be a good option to have. It will save having to get your repair pieces pre-cut by someone else.
A Belt Sander – To put new life into wood, it needs a lot of sanding. This will be much easier with the help of a power tool. These sorts of options aren’t too expensive, nowadays. It’s also a good idea to have paper in an array of grits to use with your sander. This will give you the chance to handle all of this work with one tool.
A Hammer – Wood will often be held together with nails instead of screws, especially if it’s old. A hammer is an essential part of any toolbox!
Brushes and Rags – Of course, you’ll need a selection of paint brushes to apply your treatments and paint to the furniture. Along with this, you’ll also benefit from having some clean rags to wipe away excess and clean up any spills.
Treatments – You will need some sort of treatment for most types of wood. This will be covered in more detail in Step Two, to give you an idea of what you should be buying for your wood. You should always make sure the treatment you’re buying is designed for the wood you have.
Furniture – Finally, the furniture you buy will make a big difference in this, too. You should aim to get solid wood options, which don’t have a veneer. In most cities and towns, you’ll find reclamation yards and stores offering beaten and old furniture. From some places, you can pick up items with loads of character for nearly nothing. Buying furniture of this quality new would cost a small fortune, by comparison.
- Step One: Preparing The Wood
Once you have your furniture, you can begin to do some work to prepare it for its treatments. You should be aiming to buy furniture which is fully functional. But, you may only find options which need small repairs. When you buy furniture like this, you should also try and buy something which can donate the materials for repair. Then, it’s just a matter of cutting it to size with your saw and attaching it discreetly with nails or screws. A website like iFixIt has loads of free repair guides to help you to get this job done. And, a lot of the time, you will be able to use your brain to figure out the best method of attack.
Once your furniture is in working order, you can start the long process of sanding. You should have spent some time reading reviews to find the best belt sander you can, and will have one with variable speed control. Along with this research, you should also make sure you know how best to sand the wood you’ve chosen. As a rough guide, it’s best to start with your coarsest sandpaper. Moving in a smooth motion, you should gently run the sander over the surface of the wood. The pressure you apply needs to be gentle, but consistent. Move down in grit size, doing two or three runs with at least three different grades of paper. And, finish by smoothing everything out with very fine paper, by hand.
- Step Two: Treatment
With a smooth surface, you’ll be ready to start thinking about your treatment. Every different type of wood will have a different set of treatments designed for it. For example, Danish oil is often used with Oak. But, chemical treatments are preferred when it comes to pine. So, you need to do plenty of research to find the best treatment for your wood. Applying the treatment will usually take at least a day. You will have to layer after layer, waiting for it to fully dry in between. Of course, you can use the time around this normally, though. So, it isn’t time-consuming. It just takes a while!
If you’re going for the true shabby chic look, you’ll probably want to have some painted areas on your furniture. And, some people will want to paint their furniture, while going for a different style. Some professionals recommend that you use a primer before applying paint to most woods. This stops the wood from absorbing the paint and makes it easier to remove later on. But, you could also simply apply more layers, without using a primer. You should always use paint which is designed for wood. Some paints will react strangely with wood. And, this could be hard to deal with. When painting, always make sure that the brush is going in the same direction, to avoid weird streaks.
- Step Three: Cleaning It Up
Once you’ve treated and painted your furniture, and it’s all dry, you can start to make some little repairs here and there to make it perfect. Use a small brush to make touch-ups to paint. And, use some light sandpaper to get rid of any lumps or bubbles. You’ll know when you feel like the furniture is ready to be put on display. At this point, you finally get to enjoy the furniture you’ve created for yourself.
Hopefully, this guide will give you a good idea of what needs to be done to revitalize wooden furniture for you home. In the modern world, upcycling is becoming more and more popular. It’s a cheap alternative to buying new options. And, it will ensure that all of your furniture is as unique as possible.