The 3 Basic Stages of Furniture Restoration & Everything You'll Need

The 3 Basic Stages of Furniture Restoration & Everything You'll Need

*Click on the photos below to view each product*

Far too much quality furniture goes to waste once it is well used and worn. But that doesn't have to be the case. Restoring and refinishing furniture is a fun, cost effective, and an environmentally friendly way of sprucing up your home and the furniture within it. If you're interested in restoring a piece of furniture, this quick 3 step guide with tips and product recommendations will point you in the right direction and encourage you to get started!

Step 1 - Stripping (Paint & Varnish Removal)

In order for the new finish to look its best, the old finish must be completely removed. The new finish could be blotchy and uneven as stains, oils and other new finishes won't adhere properly if any of the previous finish remains on the timber. Removing 100% can be easily accomplished with the help of our Fully Equipped Stripping Kit. The kits include everything you need to strip a timber surface, and are cheaper than buying each product separately.

Stripping the surface is often considered the hardest part of the restoration, but once its done and out of the way you can concentrate on the next steps which are a very satisfying and enjoyable.

For an in depth guide on how to use our WoodStrip Paint Stripper, click the first photo below:

  • Don't let the stripper dry! When the stripper dries, so does the finish that you're trying to remove. Always keep the surface moist by applying more stripper whenever necessary.
  • Always use paint stripper in a well ventilated area, wear appropriate¬†PPE and use caution¬†when handling steel wool.
  • Use newspaper to dispose of the paint stripper. Scrape off the stripper onto the paper, it will dry out in the sun and then you can roll it up and safely dispose of it in the bin.


Step 2 - Sanding (Surface Prep)

The surface may already feel smooth after stripping, but to ensure great results it is important to do things right. Sanding the surface will remove any fine scratches from the stripping and give you much better results. Work through the grades starting from 180 grit, and up to 400 grit.

Working through multiple grades of paper can be expensive if you buy each grade separately. Luckily we have just the product to help keep the cost down, our SANDPAPER PACK includes 4 different grades of paper and 20 sheets total, so no need to break the bank. 180, 240, 320, and 400 grit paper is included.

  • Be careful when sanding veneer! Use a cork block to sand evenly and don't roll the paper over the edges of the surface. Sanding through the veneer is a mistake that want to avoid.
  • Sand with the grain to keep sanding marks to a minimum. Some sanding marks wont be visible until the new finish is applied
  • Work through the grades, starting with the coarsest, and ending with the finest.


Step 3 - Refinishing (Colour & Protection)

Refinishing is the final step, but it can sometimes get complicated. With so many options for refinishing, people often get confused about whats the best product to use. We like to keep it simple and suggest an Oil or Shellac finish. They're non toxic and have been used for hundreds of years. 

One of the easiest finishes to apply is 100% PURE TUNG OIL, simply wipe it on and wipe it off and get great results every time. For a more high gloss finish try our LIQUID SHELLAC, you can also stain the timber to any colour you like with our FAST TIMBER STAINS and apply your new finish over the top.

  • When using oil: Apply the first coat of Oil generously. A porous timber will absorb a lot of the oil.
  • Keep your working space as clean as possible to avoid complications such as dust and other impurities that can ruin the new finish.
  • Use 320 or 400 grit sand paper between coats, it wont take much to smooth the surface so be gentle


And that's it! By following these simply steps, you can restore furniture at home. If you have any questions or need personalised advice, you can email us at or send us a message on instagram @restorerschoice. Send us a few photos of the piece you are wanting to restore and we will guide you in the right direction!

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