10 Tips for Restoring Old Furniture


Tools of the Trade

You'll need some tools to make your project happen. Take a trip down the sandpaper aisle and get a variety of grits. Buy both the moderately rough stuff (80 to 120 grit) and the finest grades (300 to 600). Get a couple of putty knives, one plastic and one metal. Also pick up some 0000 steel wool and a liquid stripping gel.

You'll need Phillips head and flathead screwdrivers for tightening joints and a small hammer and rubber mallet, which will allow you to adjust the wood without leaving a mark.

Also have the following items on hand:

  • Wood glue
  • Wood putty
  • Oil soap
  • Measuring tape
  • Plastic gloves
  • Respirator
  • 2- to 3-inch (5.08 to 7.62 centimeters) angled paint brush
  • Toothbrush

Now that your toolbox is full and you're armed with these tips, you're ready to begin restoring your furniture to its former glory.

For more tips and advice, head over to the next page.

Related Articles


  • Beuerlein, Karin. "8 Essential Wood Refinishing Tools and Supplies." DIY Network. (Jan. 15, 2012) http://www.diynetwork.com/painting/8-essential-wood-refinishing-tools-and-supplies/index.html
  • Beuerlein, Karin. "How to Tell if Metal Furniture and D├ęcor Is Worth Refinishing." DIY Network. (Jan. 15, 2012)http://www.diynetwork.com/decorating/how-to-tell-if-metal-furniture-and-decor-is-worth-refinishing/index.html
  • Beuerlein, Karin. "How to Tell if Wood Furniture Is Worth Refinishing." DIY Network. (Jan. 15, 2012) http://www.diynetwork.com/decorating/how-to-tell-if-wood-furniture-is-worth-refinishing/index.html
  • Beuerlein, Karin. "What to Look for When Buying Old Furniture." DIY Network. (Jan. 15, 2012) http://www.diynetwork.com/decorating/what-to-look-for-when-buying-old-furniture/index.html
  • DIY Network. "All About Green Paints and Finishes." 2009. (Jan. 15, 2012) http://www.diynetwork.com/painting/all-about-green-paints-and-finishes/index.html
  • Hurst-Wajszczuk, Joe. "Stripping Painted Furniture." This Old House. (Jan. 15, 2012) http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,20220362,00.html
  • Novak, Sara. "Basic Steps to Restore and Reuse Old Furniture." Planet Green. Nov. 3, 2008. (Jan. 15, 2012) http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/restore-furniture-tips.html
  • Wood Works, the. "DIY Furniture Refinishing Guidelines." (Jan. 15, 2012) http://www.thewoodworksinc.com/strip_refinish/diy_refinishing.shtml


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