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  • Writer's pictureMakenzie Finks

A Basic Guide To Repurposing Wooden Furniture

If you too are a lover of wooden furniture, you will know the pain that comes with seeing something beautiful, falling in love with it, then having to walk away because you saw that the price tag has one too many zeros on it. (Seriously, me errrr day). This is where the wonderful world of upcycling can come in. You can get hold of amazing pieces of furniture at great prices on local buy and sell sites.

For a fraction of the cost of something similar brand new, you can buy and refurbish your own wooden furniture, allowing you to have beautiful wooden drawers, chairs, tables, and anything else scattered around your home. I got so tired of not being able to buy furniture that I loved so I decided to look into how to refinish old pieces and this is what I found. I am going to try it out and let you know how it all goes! If you want to try it out with me, follow these tips, and soon you will have trendy wooden furniture which will look like it costs ten times what you paid for it!

These are my photos of inspiration for future projects! (Pinterest

Strip it

The first task with any piece of wooden furniture that needs refurbishing is to take it back to bare wood. This can be a very lengthy process, so it’s best to binge some Netflix while you do it to keep your mind occupied. Start by removing any hinges, handles or other metalwork from the wood and storing it in a safe place. The next step is to start sanding. If you have power tools, then you could save quite a bit of time by using an electric sander. However, this will only work on flat surfaces, and you will need to do the curves and more intricately carved parts by hand. Take all the varnish off and get it down to a smooth, clean finish. You may want to use different grades of sandpaper to achieve a really smooth finish. It can be tempting to rush this process, but the more effort you put into this part, the better the finished product will look.

Repair it

Once you’ve got everything back to bare wood, it’s time to start on the TLC. If you’ve picked up a particularly battered piece of furniture that has dent and chips, then you will need to fill these. A clear wood filler or mixture of PVA glue with the dust made from sanding will fill most dents, chips, and holes. Leave any filler to dry for a full 24 hours before sanding it back down to ensure a smooth surface. You should also take the time to replace or repair any handles or hinges the furniture might have.

Paint, varnish, or stain it

Now comes the really fun bit; the final touches. There are three options when it comes to wooden furniture: Paint, varnish, or stain. Paint is simple and can help to create the shabby chic look that is still quite popular. You start by painting a base color; then you paint a different color over the top of that. Once all is dry, you use sandpaper to distress it and bring through some of the base color and even the bare wood. Once you’re done, you will need to use wax or varnish to seal the wood and keep it healthy. Varnish allows you to keep the natural color of the wood and bring out some depth to the color, perfect for hardwoods like mahogany, oak, and walnut. Staining allows simpler woods, like pine, to look like their more expensive cousins. Whichever option you choose, be sure to seal your work with a good quality wax to keep the wood healthy.

There you have it, a deceptively simple guide to upcycling your own wooden furniture. You will be thoroughly tired out after all that sanding and painting, but it will definitely be worth it. Send me pictures of your before and afters! I'd love to see 😄 xo, 


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