Restoring, repairing and renovating wooden furniture

Restoring, repairing and renovating wooden furniture

Steve Grimwood, MD of Osmo UK, shares his tips on how to rejuvenate your favourite pieces of wooden furniture that may be in need of a bit of TLC

a bit of attention and wood will stay looking great

Wooden furniture will deteriorate over time if you neglect it, so don't think it's only precious antiques that need regular waxing and polishing. Pictured above: this desk has been sanded and oiled and looks fabulous again

Lots of us tend to assume that our wooden furniture will last for decades and needs only the odd bit of light dusting every so often. But the little knocks and scrapes it can take on a daily basis do cause pieces to deteriorate over time.
 
Add exposure to sunlight and wood will fade and dry, and it can go on to crack and splinter especially over the winter months. And of course wood’s natural expansion and retraction can cause furniture to warp as the years go by.
 
So, what's to be done? Well, with a few simple restoration techniques you can revive wooden furniture with a professional flare. 
 
REVIVE WORN WOOD 
Worn, whether it's floors, desks or tables, can be sanded, cleaned and re-finished to present a fresh canvas with an as-new appearance.
 
A sideboard  after years of minimal attention...
And voila, after some sanding and oiling, it's looking pristine again
All wood furniture needs waxing or oiling every few months
Osmo has a wide range of products to protect wood and keep it looking great
To start, I suggest looking really closely at the wood closely to see if there are any abrasions which need to be covered up.
 
If there are dents or small scrapes, use a wood filler product to remove them by evening out the damaged wood surface.
 
Using a high-quality product that's compatible with the finish you want is key. This will ensure that once you've sanded down the area and the final finishing treatment is applied, the repaired surface will be camouflaged against the rest of the wood flooring without leaving unsightly marks. After the filler has dried - which usually takes around 30 minutes - sand the wood with fine grit sandpaper so that the surface is smooth, and ready to be applied with a finish. 
 
My best advice for finishing your upcycled furniture is, again, to use a high-quality finish which means it should be full of natural ingredients to complement the wood’s properties. This will ensure the wood continues to breathe and respond well to environmental conditions, removing any possibility of cracking or and blistering. Best products to use are oil-/wax-based finishes as they penetrate into the wood, protecting it from the inside and out.  
 
Kitchen countertops benefit from Osmo oils. www.osmogard.co.uk
Tired wood floors should be sanded and re-oiled. Use stains or opaque lacquers if you want a change of colour
This herringbone wood floor has been restored to glory
ADD A SPLASH OF COLOUR
Everyone's gone colour mad over recent years, with the trend for upcycling furniture by painting it, while floorboards too have come in for the paint treatment. But you don't always have to use a paint to change the colour of wood. Wooden flooring can be tinted or stained, or you can apply an opaque colour.
 
Applying a coloured finish to a wooden floor instantly revives a room and even improves the look of the furniture in it; or use colour products to change and personalise your old furniture.
 
Wood finishes and tints are easy to apply and don’t require particular expertise or expensive tools. After sanding the wood, open the tin, stir well and apply one to two thin coats, depending on the place of application and application tool. Ensure the surface is clean before you start and use a clean paintbrush, roller or lint-free cloth. Any mistakes in the wet coating can be corrected up to 30 minutes after the first application. 
 
PROTECT AND PRESERVE
After sanding, shaping and finishing your wood, it's vital to keep it protected. It's a natural material so wood will react and change with its environment, so bear that in mind if you have wood in rooms exposed to moisture.
 
Wood protectors will preserve your floors and furniture and keep them in good condition for months at a time. A good protector also prevents wood from becoming dry and brittle as well as minimising the effects of shrinkage or swelling caused by moisture in the air. 
 
 
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