5 Signs Your Wood Furniture Needs Refinishing

July 20th, 2022 Blog

Do you have old wooden and weathered furniture at home? It can be tempting to discard them and order new pieces, especially when planning a home makeover. However, you might better get your money’s worth by having wooden furniture refinished.

Old wood furniture will start showing proof of wear and tear after years of use. Reviving them as soon as possible can prevent further and irreversible damage.

But it’s not always easy to figure out when it’s time to refinish wood furniture. To help you determine whether your wooden furniture needs refinishing, here are the five signs you need to look out for.

1. Age

Age is a crucial factor in analyzing your wood furniture for refinishing. In the old days, stripping the old finish with chemicals and sealing the wood with varnish was the authentic way to deal with antique furniture.

But refinishing old pieces of solid wood made before 1850 can hurt their antique value. Therefore, saving the original wood surface might make more sense. If you notice dents in an old piece of furniture, it’s best to talk to woodworking experts first. They will know the value of the wooden table or chair and whether it should be conserved or restored.

Meanwhile, if your antique furniture has been painted recently, it’s better to remove the paint or varnish and expose the original patina. This is a time-consuming job and most likely best left to an experienced refinisher.

2. Chips and Flakes

Paint and wood finishes can cover up numerous defects. But flaking or chipping on the existing finish of your reclaimed wood kitchen table or other types of wood pieces indicates they already need refinishing.

Varnish, lacquer, shellac and other clear coats protect the furniture against dirt, moisture, sunlight and pests. However, if the top coat starts to crack or fall away, it can no longer appropriately cover the solid wood. If you notice such imperfections, a fresh coating is necessary. You can use a sander or paint stripper to remove the existing finish.

3. Parts Needing Re-Gluing

Giving your solid wood furniture a rocking test is another way to determine whether you need to discard or refinish it. Test out the sturdiness of your wooden piece by placing your hands on it and rocking it back and forth.

If it sways, is uneven or comes apart, you will have to disassemble it and re-glue the parts together using clamps. Once you have ensured its stability, you can remove the old finish and give it a fresh coat of paint.

Pro Tip

“Wooden pieces made out of oak or mahogany require the use of a grain filler to create a smooth, even surface finish.”

4. Sticky Surface

Wooden surfaces don’t require solvents and cleaning solutions to clean. You can polish them with a clean rag. You will know if the old finish is starting to deteriorate if your furniture feels sticky to the touch, even after dusting or polishing it with a clean cloth.

A decaying finish means the wood is already exposed to dirt, oil or other substances. If you’re planning a DIY refinishing project, ensure to wipe the piece with a tack cloth to pick up loose debris before applying a fresh coat of paint or lacquer.

5. Damaged Finish

Even if you keep wood furniture in dry and sheltered areas, their wooden surfaces can develop discolouration, stains, watermarks, dents and other blemishes over time. The existing finish is likely degrading if they don’t go away despite cleaning them thoroughly.

You can use chemical strippers to take off the old finish and apply fresh gel stains and oil finishes. While a DIY furniture refinishing project seems exciting, hiring a professional might be better.

You might also want to read these tips for avoiding common wood furniture mistakes.

Woodcraft Makes Refinishing Wood Furniture Easy

Refinishing is a great way to save money and make damaged and worn-out wooden furniture pieces look new. But refinishing a piece of wood furniture can be time-consuming and stressful, regardless of whether it’s a family heirloom or something you only got from the thrift store.

If you want to avoid the usual mistakes of DIY refinishing, visit Woodcraft. We provide top-quality furniture refinishing services. You can find us in Whitby, Mississauga, and Markham. Contact our toll-free number, 1.866.475.2488, for further assistance and options.

Restoring or refinishing wood furniture can be a headache. If you need assistance or more information, contact Woodcraft today. We can help bring back life and shine to your wooden furniture.


FAQs on Refinishing Wood Furniture

1. What are the advantages of refinishing furniture?

One of the visible advantages of refinishing furniture is giving your home a new look at less additional costs. Unlike ordering a new piece of furniture that takes over 1000 times more carbon, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint and helping contribute to a healthier environment with refinishing furniture.

2. What do you need to refinish wood furniture?

If you decide to do a refinishing furniture DIY project, you will need the following tools and supplies to complete your project more efficiently:

  • Power Sander
  • Heat Gun
  • Putty Knife
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Eye Goggles
  • Paint Strippers
  • Interior Stain
  • Polyurethane
  • Wood Oils

3. When should you consult a wood furniture refinishing expert?

You can refinish your wood furniture by yourself. But if you’re not sure what you’re dealing with, it’s best to consult a wood furniture refinishing expert. Having your furniture refinished by a professional will help you avoid costly mistakes.