Learn how to restore wood furniture without stripping or sanding to raw wood!
This past weekend, I worked on a vintage furniture set that I recently scored on craigslist. It’s a mid-century modern dresser and nightstand set by Bassett.
The set was well loved by a family who told me it was one of the first things that they bought when they came to the United States in the 1950s. I hope to have to for just as long.
I love buying vintage dressers because they are so well made! However, the finish usually needs some work. I knew that I didn’t want to paint it and cover the pretty wood. Luckily, refreshing vintage furniture is pretty easy.
How to Restore Wood Furniture without Stripping
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Danish oil typically has a tiny bit of stain in it. I also like to use Hemp oil, which does not have stain in. Both do a great job of rejuvenating old furniture.
This dresser had scratches all over it. This is a BEFORE picture of the side of the tallboy dresser.
- Lightly sand all of the scratches using a fine grit sandpaper. You’re not trying to remove the finish, just smooth the scratches.
- Clean the dust from the wood and apply a coat of Danish Oil. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to absorb into the wood.
- Wipe away the excess oil.
Danish oil is also great for refreshing dry wood. It does such a great job of disguising scratches in wood.
Wax the Vintage Furniture
To protect the vintage furniture, I like to wax it. Howard Feed N Wax smells great and protects the wood from further damage.
- Apply a thin coat of Howard Feed N Wax.
- Let sit for about 15 minutes.
- Buff away the excess wax. (For raw wood, I usually apply 2 coats.
Here it is, all finished with wax. This one had deeper scratches and it became apparent that the handles are made of a different wood, but stained to match. Still, it looks much better!
The process for refreshing vintage furniture took a few hours for 4 pieces of furniture (nightstands not shown.) Refinishing them completely would have taken days. They’re not perfect, but that’s okay with me.
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