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Refinish Antique Furniture

Antiques are great but they often need to be revitalized. Not that you want to eliminate the look of age. You don't want them to look like they just came out of the carton, but sometimes you need to refinish antique furniture and bring out their natural beauty once again. Some flaws just can't be tolerated and you can do something about them without ruining the antique.

If your furniture was originally varnished to show off the grain of the wood, you should let it remain that way. It is a shame to hide the grain or color on a piece that was originally designed to show off the grain of the wood or a particular stain color. So you don't want to paint these items.

All your antique furniture might need is a little tender loving care and a little effort on your part to restore its former glory. Only if refinishing is a last resort should you do that, and great care must be taken to do it responsibly and thoroughly. Here are some tips to help you refinish antique furniture.

  • Take your antique furniture outside or into an open area, such as your garage.
  • Get Howard's "Restore-A-Finish". It comes in several shades. It is said to be a "miracle worker".
  • Apply the restorer liberally on the softest grade of steel wool.
  • Rub the restorer into the wood, going with the grain.
  • Wait about 20 minutes (or longer).
  • Wipe off the stain with a soft clean cloth.
  • Don't use paper towels as they may scratch the surface.
  • Let the antique dry completely.
  • That's it.

You can even use this process on furniture that is newer but scuffed up from the kids or the vacuum.

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Barbara Jennings is author of 11 decorating books: Decor Secrets Revealed, Rearrange It, Home Staging for Profit, Staging Luxurious Homes, Home Staging for Yourself, Arrange Your Stuff, Advanced Redesign, Pro Art Consulting, Where There's a Wall - There's a Way, The Art of Hanging Art, Great Parties! Great Homes!

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