Many old households have treasures of old, vintage furniture that is still serving them nicely and add to the grace and elegance of the home. If your old furniture is showing signs of wear and tear, you can go for restoring it and bring it back to its original condition. Many times, old, wooden furniture gets neglected resulting into build-up of grime and dirt. Its lustre goes for a toss and the colour also gets diminished. All these issues can be solved by restoring old furniture. Here are a few steps that can help you.
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The first step is to strip the furniture and prepare it for the restoration job. It is very important step and key to wood furniture restoration. Thus, whether it is brass door handles or old, vintage kitchen cabinet knobs, start by stripping them. When you are planning to this restoration work indoors, it is imperative for you to protect your floors and any other furniture nearby. Place a plastic sheet on the floor before you begin with the job. Liberally apply stripper using an old brush on the surface that needs to be restored.
If you are looking forward to getting excellent results from restoring wood, you need to leave the stripper on the surface for some time. The finish which is a mix of polish and old varnish must dissolve nicely. It will depend on the thickness and composition of the coating. If all layers fail to dissolve, re-spread the stripper once again and wait for it to dissolve. Rounded surfaces like cabinet handles and doorknobs may take some extra time in getting these layers dissolved.
The next step entails neutralizing wood using a steel wool pad soaked in polish remover, proprietary wax, or white spirit. When neutralizing the wood, follow the wood grains precisely. Before using any chemical on your precious wood furniture and fittings, read the label carefully and avoid using excess harsh and harmful chemical. Also, depending on the stripper used, you need to choose a suitable neutralizer. If you fail to neutralize stripper, it will again get reactivated and the wood restoration project may not succeed.
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Moving on to the next step, use cotton rags to wipe away residues on the furniture surface and leave it for a minimum 24 hours. Clean old polish and dirt by applying wax remover using a coarse cloth or steel wood pad. Leave it as is for some time allowing the wax to soften so that it can be easily wiped away using a clean cloth before it solidifies again.
After the furniture surface has been stripped, wait for 24 hours and start smoothening the wood fibres using a very fine glasspaper. These fibres get raised during the process of stripping and needs to be smoothened. After shaking and vacuuming the protective sheet and removing dust on it, use tack cloth to wipe the top.
When restoring old, vintage furniture, you will have to tackle areas of bleached wood. Direct sunlight falling on the furniture pieces can make it look dull and faded. This problem can be solved by applying mahogany wood dye. It will bring uniformity to the surface. Allow the stain to penetrate well and use a cloth to wipe away excess. Get an even finish.
Let the surface dry and then apply finishing oil coats on the surface using lint-free cloth or a brush. The oil will take 10 minutes to penetrate. Let it sit for five hours. Use 0000-gauge steel wool to gently rub it and apply another coat. Repeat the process as it increases the sheen and durability.
Finally, apply good furniture wax sparingly over the surface of the kitchen door handles and door knockers using a lint free cloth. Warping must be avoided which can be done by placing the furniture away from direct sunlight, fires, or radiators.
Once you are done with these steps, you will find your old furniture and fittings gleaming and shining like new.