How to Give Antique Wooden Furniture a Makeover

16 April 2018
 Categories: , Blog

Refurbishing antique furniture is all the rage right now. Taking something old and making it all new and giving it new life in your home to update your home is something just about anyone can do if you're willing to put in the work. Older furniture is usually better quality than most new furniture you can purchase today, as it is usually made of solid wood rather than fiberboard and laminate. Read below for tips on how to makeover antique furniture.

What You'll Need:

  • TSP (or some other type of deep cleaner)
  • Rags
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Wood fill
  • Paint or stain
  • Paint or stain brush
  • Bleach


  1. To start, take any drawers out of the piece of furniture. Then wipe down the entire interior of the drawers, shelves and other areas of the piece. If it has a stinky smell, you may want to keep it outside in a garage or shed until you can air it out. Adding a few drops of lemon essential oil to warm water and wiping down the piece with the solution can also help remove any odd smells.
  2. Next, use TSP to clean up any grease and other built-up dirt that has accumulated on the piece. When finished wiping down the piece with TSP, rinse the piece off with water to remove the TSP. Failing to rinse off the TSP can prevent stain or paint from adhering to the piece properly.
  3. Use wood filler to fill in any holes or damaged portions of the piece. Allow the wood filler to dry, then sand it smooth. 
  4. Use the fine grit sandpaper to buff out any scratches on the piece.
  5. Next, decide what type of look you want the piece to have. You can use stain or gel stain (although if using stain you may want to sand the piece down completely to bare wood). You can also use acrylic paint, chalk paint, or milk paint. No matter which paint you use, use a top coat to protect the piece. For chalk paint, a wax is needed to protect the paint.
  6. Use thin coats no matter which type of paint or stain you use. Take your time with each coat, and allow plenty of dry time in between before attempting to do another coat. Allow at least 24 hours for each coat to dry.

Antique furniture is gorgeous and sturdy that you can add new life to in your home. Take your time when refinishing a piece, and be sure not to skip any steps to ensure the paint or stain you add to the piece adheres properly.