Ideas for Refinishing Furniture


Refinishing a piece of worn or scratched wooden furniture gives it a second life. This prevents waste and can bring an antique chair or table back to its original condition. There are a variety of ways to refinish furniture. Some are more creative and challenging than others, and some methods should not be used on valuable antique pieces.


  • Staining is the most common refinishing technique for wooden furniture, allowing the natural beauty of the wood to show. Any existing paint or stains must be removed first with sandpaper and paint remover, according to HGTV, and the wood surface must be smooth. A liquid stain is then brushed on and given 24 hours to dry. Stains come in a variety of colors, and can be used to give an inexpensive pine table the look of deep red cherry wood.


  • A properly applied coat of paint turns old, worn furniture into brand-new pieces. The surface must be prepared in much the same way as for staining the piece, with all the old paint or stain removed. The experts at Bella Online recommend using an oil-based paint and a short nap paint roller to get the smoothest finish possible. Applying the paint with a brush will leave stroke marks on the surface.


  • Stained furniture needs a finish to prevent the color from rubbing off, and applying a finish over paint protects it from spills. Water-based wood finishes are the best choice for painted furniture, and a polyurethane finish works well over any kind of wood stain. Natural finishes, including beeswax and tung oil, also work well to seal the finished furniture, says TLC Home. However, these finishes require more care during application and additional upkeep.

Add a Mosaic

  • A stained or badly scratched table doesn't have to be discarded. After staining or painting the legs and underside of the table top, use broken pieces of ceramics or specially designed tiles to create a beautiful mosaic tabletop. The experts at HGTV say to install a small lip around the table's edge made from wood trim to hold the tiles in. Ceramic tile adhesive will keep the mosaic firmly attached to the wood, and grout finishes your design. A piece of glass can be added if the table needs a smooth surface for dining.


  • Once the wooden portions of a chair have been refinished, the cloth seat should be upgraded. The iVillage website explains that the process is simple. Begin by tracing out the shape and size of the chair's seat, then remove any existing fabric and fabric tacks or staples. Replace the seat's padding if it is badly stained or ripped. Fold a piece of cloth, cut to the right size, over the cushion and staple it to the underside of the seat.

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