Giving New Life to Old Wood


Old wood furniture holds a unique charm and character that can enhance any space. By reloving and refinishing these pieces, you can breathe new life into them, preserving their beauty for years to come. In this article, we will explore the art of giving new life to old wood furniture through the process of reloving and refinishing. We will also highlight the importance of using the right oil for wood furniture to restore and maintain its natural allure.

The Art of Reloving and Refinishing Furniture

Reloving and refinishing furniture involves transforming worn or dated pieces into stunning, functional, and revitalised works of art. It is a rewarding process that requires careful consideration and attention to detail. Here are the essential steps to give new life to old wood furniture:

Assessing the Piece: Begin by assessing the condition of the furniture. Look for any structural issues, loose joints, or major damage that needs repair. Evaluate the overall design and consider how you can enhance or modify it to suit your taste and space.

Cleaning and Preparing: Thoroughly clean the furniture to remove dirt, dust, and grime. Use a mild soap and warm water solution, and gently scrub the surface with a soft cloth or sponge. Once clean, allow the piece to dry completely before proceeding.

Stripping and Sanding: If the furniture has an existing finish, stripping it may be necessary. Use a paint stripper or sandpaper to remove the old finish, taking care to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Once stripped, sand the surface to achieve a smooth and even texture. Start with coarse-grit sandpaper and gradually move to finer grits for a polished result.

oil for wood furniture

Repairing and Restoring: Address any structural issues or damage by repairing loose joints, filling gaps, or replacing broken parts. Use appropriate wood glue, clamps, or screws to reinforce the furniture’s stability. Restore any missing or damaged decorative elements, such as mouldings or hardware, to maintain the original character.

Staining or Painting: Decide whether you want to stain or paint the furniture. Staining highlights the natural beauty of the wood, while painting offers creative possibilities and can give the piece a fresh, updated look. Apply the stain or paint evenly, following the grain of the wood, and allow it to dry completely between coats.

Finishing with the Right Oil: To protect and enhance the wood’s natural beauty, applying the right oil is essential. A high-quality oil for wood furniture nourishes the wood, enhances its colour, and provides a protective barrier against moisture and daily wear. Different types of wood may require specific oils, so choose one that suits the type of wood you are working with.

Choosing the Right Oil for Wood Furniture

When selecting an oil for wood furniture, consider factors such as the desired finish, level of protection, and ease of application. Here are some popular options:

  1. Tung Oil: Tung oil is a natural, low-sheen oil that provides excellent protection and durability. It penetrates the wood, enhancing its grain and colour while creating a water-resistant barrier.
  2. Linseed Oil: Linseed oil is a traditional choice for wood furniture. It nourishes the wood, brings out its natural lustre, and offers moderate protection against moisture. Linseed oil takes longer to dry compared to other oils.
  3. Danish Oil: Danish oil is a blend of varnish, linseed oil, and mineral spirits. It provides a beautiful finish, deepening the wood’s colour, and offering enhanced protection against stains and scratches.
  4. Teak Oil: Teak oil is specifically formulated for tropical hardwoods like teak. It protects the wood from moisture, UV damage, and mildew, while enhancing its natural warmth and colour.

Applying the Oil Finish

When applying the oil finish, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure the wood surface is clean, dry, and free of any dust or debris.
  2. Use a clean cloth or brush to apply the oil in even strokes, following the wood’s grain.
  3. Allow the oil to penetrate the wood for the recommended time specified by the manufacturer.
  4. With a fresh cloth, remove any extra oil.
  5. Allow the furniture to dry thoroughly before using or applying additional coats if needed.

Maintaining Reloved Wood Furniture

To keep your reloved wood furniture in excellent condition, regular maintenance is key. Follow these tips:

  1. Dust the furniture regularly to prevent dirt and debris from accumulating.
  2. Use a mild soap and water solution to clean the surface as needed, ensuring the cloth or sponge is damp, not wet.
  3. Avoid placing hot or wet objects directly on the surface to prevent damage.
  4. Apply a fresh coat of oil for wood furniture periodically to maintain the protective finish and nourish the wood.

Reloving and refinishing old wood furniture is a gratifying process that allows you to revive and cherish timeless pieces. By carefully assessing, cleaning, repairing, and refinishing, you can transform tired furniture into stunning focal points. Choosing the right oil for wood furniture adds the final touch, providing protection and enhancing the wood’s natural beauty. Embrace the art of reloving and refinishing to breathe new life into your old wood furniture and enjoy its charm for years to come.