How to Make Old Wood Trim Look New


Depending on how you want the refurbished wood trim to look, there are a three main techniques you could employ. The first is stripping the finish completely and re-finishing it to look brand new. The second is sanding the trim down smooth and simply painting. The third is antiquing the trim to look fresh but antiquated. Refreshing the finish of the trim with a distressed flare is simple, economical and allows for a clean, hardwood appearance.

Things You'll Need

  • 120 and 220 grit sand paper
  • Clean cotton rags
  • Warm wood glaze or gel coat
  • Polyurethane top coat
  • Fine 2 inch wide paint brush
  • Scuff the entire surface of the trim with 120 grit sand paper. While it is not necessary to eradicate the old finish entirely, the entire surface must at least me scuffed.

  • Scuff the entire surface of the trim with 220 grit sand paper.

  • Wipe the entire surface with a clean rag, removing all dust and debris.

  • Apply a wood glaze or gel coat to the whole surface. Using a clean cotton rag, wipe a generous layer of glaze or gel coat across the surface. Use a separate clean rag to remove the excess.

  • Coat the surface with polyurethane. Apply the top coat with a fine haired paint brush using long straight sweeping motions in line with wood grain.

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  • Photo Credit old fashioned desk image by Gina Smith from
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