Into The Wood: Go Ahead And Revive An Old Treasure

Bringing new life to an older piece of furniture gives DIY (do it yourself) thrill-seekers a fulfilling and creative hobby. Whether you’re an avid antique hunter, love to bargain hunt online, or have inherited a family heirloom, restoration is a cost-effective way to personalize and modernize the pieces you’ve collected over the years.

Sometimes it’s hard to see the potential of a piece of furniture under layers of dust, paint, or veneer, but that can be half the fun. No task offers quite as much satisfaction as returning a weathered wooden gem to its former splendour.

“Most solid wood furniture is worth refinishing,” says Umar Ahmed, Owner of Howard’s Second Generation. “Look for things like dovetail drawers, finger joints, solid wood frames, maker’s marks, or unique designs and shapes to know if a piece is worthwhile.”

Griffin Vintage Furniture & Gifts

“Dressers, end tables, and sideboards are always popular pieces to refinish,” explains Rose Khara, Owner of Griffin Vintage Furniture & Gifts. “We find sixty percent of our customers are working on a DIY project and 40 percent are looking for help with professional
furniture painting.”

Take time to prep

Preparation is key to restoring wood furniture yourself. The better you plan your setup, the smoother your project will go. The first step is to ensure you have the right personal protective equipment for the job so you’re working in a safe environment. Next, start your prep by removing the existing hardware, cleaning the piece, and using 220 grit sandpaper to prepare the wood.

“Properly tape off areas that you don’t want to touch and sand thoroughly and evenly,” says Ahmed. “Keep your work area tidy because that can be the difference between a good looking piece of furniture and a stunning piece of furniture!” When you’ve finished sanding, wipe your piece with a cloth before priming and painting or staining.

Enjoy the transformation

Kaza Refinishing

As for selecting a paint colour, Ahmed and Khara agree the grey tones that dominated home décor over the past few years are no longer trending. “This year, the most popular dark colours selling in the Fusion Mineral Paint line are Coal Black and Cast Iron,” says Khara. “In the lighter range, Victorian Lace and the warmer tone of Raw Silk are popular. We’ve moved to painting in a satin or pearl finish and away from a high gloss finish.”

If you’re opting for a natural stain, you’re in luck. “The feeling of the wood grain is very popular,” explains Ahmed. “For natural wood finishes, people are choosing zero VOC and natural oils.”

VOC stands for volatile organic compounds – chemicals that are released into the air during application. Zero VOC wood stains help maintain healthy indoor air quality while giving your project the desired finish.

Howard’s Second Generation

Complete your project with some revamped hardware. You can entirely change the look by spraying handles and knobs a new colour or purchasing new hardware in a different style.

Consider hiring a pro

If you’re not in your element with sandpaper, stains and paints, a professional furniture refinisher in your neighbourhood would be pleased to handle the job. They’ll know what kind of wood you’re dealing with and can offer suggestions or make your own
vision come to life.

Many benefits factor into the wood furniture restoration industry, including the joy it brings to DIY enthusiasts. “I love the interpersonal interaction with clients and working on unique pieces,” says Ahmed. “Every time we show the finished piece, the oohs and aahs, and sometimes hugs and tears, are priceless.”

“I love to discover the history of a vintage piece because every piece of furniture can tell a story,” says Khara. “Focusing on the idea of reduce, reuse, recycle and showing people you can have beautiful furniture and save money at the same time is an important message.”

By Nicole Hilton

Local Links

Griffin Vintage Furniture & Gifts,
Ltd 7 Griffin Street, Waterdown

Howard’s Second Generation,
2-1244 Speers Road, Oakville

A Perfect Touch

Kaza Refinishing,
247 Barton Street, Hamilton

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