DIY home furniture restoration methods
Ways of furniture restoration: master classes with photos and videos, tips and tricks from professional restorers
How to restore furniture at home – this question is being asked by those who have an old chair lying on the balcony or those who inherited a cabinet from their great-grandmother. All these things have their own history and store many memories. They are difficult to use for their intended purpose and it is a pity to throw it away. But they can be given a second life by restoring them.
The subject matter of this material is limited only by some methods of restoration and restoration of surfaces of old furniture, where the main goal is strength, durability and the ability to use the updated item along with modern furniture.
Scientific or museum restoration has a set of features in techniques and methods, as well as in the approach to assessing the admissibility of certain actions. It imposes a number of categorical restrictions on tools and technologies.
For household restoration, careful preservation of the appearance is not a priority and it is quite possible to replace parts, wood, fixing methods, using modern paints and varnishes – provided, of course, that this chair did not belong to Catherine II!
How to restore furniture yourself at home
Before proceeding with the restoration of home furniture with your own hands, you must wash the old furniture with water or a soapy solution to remove dirt and grease, then allow it to dry.
Consider the basic techniques of restorers for cleaning old wooden surfaces – scouring and washing.
Cycling is a mechanical cleaning method in which the surface becomes smoother and more even. Scraping, leveling of old coatings should be done with a metal tool. You can purchase special restoration, carpentry cycles, scalpels with various shaped nozzles. Practice has shown that a convenient cycle is obtained from a broken hacksaw blade. In the process, cycles should be constantly sharpened.
When restoring furniture at home with your own hands, the cycle must be placed at an angle to the direction of the wood fibers and run with the same pressure along them. Finishing the planes requires a wide cycle with an almost linear edge, and for convex surfaces, edges of light concavity are required.
Washing is used for complex wooden reliefs, as well as for flat surfaces of furniture after hinging or grinding. During the passage, the old coating, remaining 5 pores and cracks, is dissolved and removed.
Antique furniture for its long life goes through a series of updates with varnishes, and sometimes with an oil bevel. A universal chemical for removing old coatings is acetone. Restorers often use mixtures of 70% acetone and 30% turpentine.
Technically, “washing” during the restoration of wooden furniture with your own hands consists in abundantly wetting the treated surface with a solvent using a large bristle brush.
Often, to remove a large number of layers, the coating must be softened during the day. For a good result, it is necessary to ensure the tightness of the treated surface (in any way possible) in order to avoid solvent evaporation. Leave the processed item overnight outside the living room, on the balcony or in the yard.
Washing surfaces coated with wax can be done with pure gasoline, turpentine, thinner or a special solvent for waxes.
To remove the oil coating yourself, moisten the metal in white spirit and wipe the surface in a circular motion.
See the restoration of furniture with your own hands in the photo, which presents interesting ideas from different masters:
How to restore your own furniture cover
You already learned how to restore furniture with your own hands from the previous section, but what about coverage? With rare exceptions, antique furniture does not pass the stage of coating with one or another varnish. Paradoxically, it is here that modern finishing materials are most suitable for processing antiques.
Once upon a time, furniture was covered with shellac-based alcohol varnish and varnish. But such a coating can not boast of strength, neither chemical nor mechanical, and it is easy to wash off.
Polishing is a completely liquid solution of shellac-based alcohol varnish, which is applied in a special way with a polishing swab to the surface – forty or more layers. Currently on sale are the so-called “simple polishes”, which are applied with a soft synthetic fleets.
Furniture wax is one of the earliest types of coatings in furniture history. If you decide to cover the furniture with wax, then use modern synthetic waxes for furniture or their natural counterparts. They are sold in departments with paint and varnish products in construction and specialized stores and come in different colors.
For the restoration of old furniture with your own hands, use ancient methods and recipes, if possible, but if necessary, consciously and boldly use modern materials and means, especially if you intend to use the item, and not just admire it.
Modern varnishes, even matte ones, give an excessive shine, uncharacteristic for antique furniture – wipe the surface of the item with a piece of coarse cloth, and the excess shine will go away.
Furniture waxes are applied with a soft cloth if they are in liquid form, or with a lint-free cloth if the wax is in the form of a paste. Then it is polished with a metallic zero number.
At the end of the article, watch a video on the restoration of furniture with your own hands, where you can clearly see all the stages of this process:
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