Tips and Guides

4 Tips on Restoring Old Furniture

Breathe new life into your vintage pieces with the help of these reminders

Photography: Miguel Nacianceno

Do you love holding on to old pieces of furniture that have been with your family for years? Some of us choose to keep vintage finds in the storage room with the hopes of someday restoring them. If you also have old furniture just waiting to be resurrected, here are four tips that may just come in handy:

Do research

What's the best way to paint or varnish an old table? How old is the piece that you are planning to refurbish? Keep in mind that repainting or re-varnishing old furniture can diminish its value. Read articles about antiques and feel free to get in touch with experts.

Clean it

Most likely, the piece has gathered dust and dirt after years of being stored in the bodega. Clean it thoroughly–but make sure you're using the right cleaner or cleaning method first.

Repair it

If you have an old wooden chair, double check the legs first. If the legs are wobbly, it's best to repair it first before varnishing. This applies to tables as well.

Finalize the look that you want

Are you sure you want to stain your table? Do you really want to go with a darker shade? Before finalizing the finish that you want to achieve, visit stores and check other items with the same finish. This will let you see and decide if the look works for you and if it blends well with the rest of your interiors.

This snippet originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

More on

3 Ways to Maintain Antique Furniture

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