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DIY Furniture Refinishing Tips and Ideas

DIY Furniture Refinishing Tips and Ideas

When you are ready to remodel your home, you can buy paint and change the colors of the walls, and buy new Roman shades to change the look of the window treatments, and buy new furniture. Wait, why buy new furniture if you do not have to? You can refinish your old furniture and create a new look for very little money.

The wood portions of furniture can be stripped and then painted, or varnished to create a new look. The upholstered portions of furniture, or the cushions, can be recovered in other materials. You can even buy furniture covers that you can throw over the furniture to create an instant new look.

To begin the process of refinishing you will need to move the furniture to your garage, or to a well-ventilated area. The chemicals used in stripping paint and varnish from wood can be very harsh and cause breathing complications if you use them inside your home without adequate ventilation.

Remove the cushions from the furniture frame. Clean the entire piece of furniture so that there is no dust or grime on it. You will need to allow any moisture left by the cleaning to completely evaporate before you begin your stripping process.

You will apply the paint and varnish stripper according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Each brand of paint and varnish remover will have slightly different instructions. The biggest differences will be in the amount of time you allow the chemicals to set on the wood before you scrape it away. This timing is very important because if you wipe the stuff away to soon it will not have time to do the job correctly, and if you wait too long the loosened varnish can become harder to remove. You must pay close attention to the instructions and follow them carefully. 

You may need to apply several coats of the varnish remover before you successfully strip the piece down to the bare wood. Be patient and be sure that you wear protective goggles, and disposable gloves when working with these chemicals.

Once the bare wood is exposed you will need to decide how you want to proceed. You can stain and varnish the wood, you can distress the wood, or you can simply paint the wood. You are the one in charge so choose a look that will express your tastes and likes.

Painting the wood is very simple to do and can create beautiful pieces. Once you have applied the paint you should apply a sealer so that you can clean the piece without damaging the paint.

If you want to stain and varnish the wood, this process is also very easy. If the wood was originally stained with a dark stain you might have to sand that away before applying a lighter color stain. You will need to apply varnish in several coats so that the wood will be able to withstand cleaning, and ordinary spills. The more varnish you apply the shinier the wood will appear.

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