Old Solid Wood Furniture? Turn Their Look Around with This Guide

Published On: October 13, 20220 Comments on Old Solid Wood Furniture? Turn Their Look Around with This GuideTags: , , Last Updated: January 30, 20244.1 min read

Solid wood furniture can be found in a variety of styles, including mid-century modern solid wood furniture. But when the pieces begin to grow old and fade, the first thought is to replace them. These pieces are crafted to be strong and durable, so why not make them look brand new instead by restoring them?

painting solid wood furniture

Choosing Method of Restoration

Before starting the restoration process on furniture like mid-century modern solid wood furniture, you’ll need to decide how you want to restore it.


There’s the option of rejuvenation. This is meant for solid wood that is still in great condition. You’ll simply clean the surface well with a damp microfiber cloth and gentle soap to remove all of the dirt and dust, and then you can wax the surface so it can look like new again.


Some furniture pieces may have dents or cracks that need to be repaired. You can fill in dents and cracks with epoxy putty and sand them down to create a flat, even surface. There are also products available for you to use that won’t strip the finish.


Sometimes to make repairs and touch-ups to the piece, you have to sand down the finishing and refinish it once the work is done. It is a fairly easy process, but it can be time-consuming.

Refinishing Wood Furniture

When refinishing old solid wood furniture, there are a few things to be mindful of.

What to Look for

Check to see if the piece has a veneer. Some furniture has veneer underneath, and while that can be sanded down, there are often composite materials that do not look well refinished. If it has a veneer, try another method to bring life back into it.

Furniture that needs to be refinished often:

  • Have rings and watermarks under the finish, often from heavy use.
  • Has a sticky surface, despite a good cleaning.
  • Has worn out or faded patches.
  • The finish has cracked or is chipping.


The supplies you need for a refinishing project are:

  • An orbital sander and various sanding disks that have different grits.
  • Sandpaper for hand sanding
  • Mask to wear during the process.
  • Stain
  • A small roller
  • Disposable gloves
  • A finish of your choosing.
  • Rags that can be tossed afterward.

 Once you have these supplies, you can begin the process.

sanding solid wood furniture


There are multiple steps to refinishing your solid wood piece.

Step One – Clean the Piece of Furniture

Before you start anything, clean the piece of solid furniture well with a damp rag and gentle dish soap, especially if the piece hasn’t been used in some time. You want to remove all of the grime and dust, so it’s not transferred into the new finish.

Step Two – Assess the State

Now that the piece is clean, take a step back and assess the full state of the piece. You should be able to notice any rings, dents, or scratches now and figure out the tools and materials you may need to make repairs.

Step Three – Sand Down Finish

Strip the finish of the wood off with sandpaper. You can use a power sander or coarse sandpaper to do so. Use medium grit sandpaper once most of the finish has been sanded and a fine-grit to smooth out the surface afterward.

Chemical strippers can also be used to remove the finish from wood, and you’ll need protective gear to use them.

Step Four – Perform Any Repairs

If there are any repairs to be made, now is the time to do them. Scratches and gouges can be filled with epoxy putty and then sanded down to be flux once it has set. Small scratches can be sanded down with fine-grit sandpaper.

Step Five – Coat With Sealant

Once the repairs are complete and dry, coat the piece with a sealant. This serves to protect the wood and can help a wood stain spread evenly. Sand down the surface once more after the sealant has dried with a fine-grit sandpaper.

Step Six – Stain or Paint

At this point, you’ll choose to either stain or paint the piece. Whatever you do is up to personal preference. Give it plenty of time to dry.

restored solid wood table

Step Seven – Apply Finish

The last step is to apply the finish coat. There are many different options available, so choose the one you want. Some finishes are sprayed on, while others are applied with a brush.

The look of old solid wood furniture can easily be transformed with just a little love and elbow grease. As you can see repainting your solid wood furniture and repainting your wooden tables is a task that every average homeowner can do without problem.

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