New Life for Old Furniture

  • Posted: Apr 20, 2009
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New Life for Old Furniture

In Home-Dzine-Online we asked our readers to send us old furniture that we could work our makeover magic on, to restore or transform these pieces to give them a new life – or a new purpose.

We were overwhelmed by the response and it certainly kept us busy for a couple of weeks. Here are just some of the projects – and the easy solutions – that we transformed.  Bear in mind before you start any project that you need to look closely at the design and manufacture of the piece to determine how you can take it apart and put back together again.

Office Furniture Restoration

Mirror

Mirror

Our first project was sent in by Marilize and was an old chair that had seen better days! The wood was dry and yellow and the plastic cracked and torn.  The wood was lightly sanded to remove dents and scratches, and then we applied Watco Danish Oil in a Dark Walnut colour. Simply wipe on with a cloth and allow this to soak into the wood. Two coats were applied for a silky, smooth rich finish.

We didn’t need to dismantle the entire chair to give it a new look. It was only necessary to unscrew the seat back and seat in order to remove the old, cracked fabric and foam and replace with new fabric.  It’s easy to tackle reupholstery projects if you get yourself a Bosch Tacker. This handy power tool saves aching fingers and reduces hand strain normally caused by a standard hand staple gun.

New look for boring pine

Gaynor had this pine pedestal in her guest bedroom and was unhappy with the yellow colour and louvre doors, which didn’t fit in with the rest of the furniture in the room. We decided that the project needed stripping down to remove all the old varnish that had been applied, and then we would use Woodoc 10 low gloss polywax sealer and an oak stain to match the pedestal to other oak pieces in the bedroom.

If you are sanding any project to remove varnish or paint, start with a 60- or 80-grit sandpaper, which does not clog up as easily. Once the majority of varnish or paint has been removed, give a once-over sanding with 120-grit sandpaper, and then finish off with 240-grit sandpaper. Wipe the unit down with a clean cloth and mineral turps to remove all the dust before applying Woodoc 10 with a paintbrush.  Follow the instructions on the tin as you need to apply the first coat, allow this to dry, and then wipe down with Woodoc SteelWool if you want a smooth finish.

The louvres were removed from the door and a piece of pine cut to size and glued into the opening. We used Alcolin wood filler to fill the cut outs in the sides. Remember to slightly dampen the wood before applying wood filler, as this prevents the wood filler from drying too fast and cracking.

To get the colour right we used a bottle of Oak stain with a few drops of Teak stain added to make it a more darker oak colour to match the existing furniture. Three coats were applied to the entire pedestal.

To add a touch of style to the pedestal we used strips of Meranti moulding that were glued to the surface with Alcolin Wood Glue, and finished off the design with Suapwood blocks cut to fit.  All-in-all, a very affordable makeover.

Roadside trash to homely treasure

Cecily wanted to restore an old fire screen that she found at the side of the road. She will eventually apply a mosaic panel to the centre.

We sanded down the fire screen to remove dents and scratches, and patched up all the damaged areas and larger cracks with Alcolin QuikWood. QuikWood is perfect for rebuilding damaged wood and sets rock hard.

Woodoc 5 Polywax Sealer was applied to the entire surface and left to soak in. The wood was extremely dry and needed two additional coats for a satin sheen.

We sanded down the fire screen to remove dents and scratches, and patched up all the damaged areas and larger cracks with Alcolin QuikWood. QuikWood is perfect for rebuilding damaged wood and sets rock hard.

Woodoc 5 Polywax Sealer was applied to the entire surface and left to soak in. The wood was extremely dry and needed two additional coats for a satin sheen.

To finish off we used Alcolin Genkem (spray) to affix the faux leather to the front and back of the centre panel. This will eventually be replaced with a mosaic panel.

Side table

Side table

New life for old furniture

Without TLC the above projects would have eventually ended up on the trash heap. These simple, affordable makeovers show you how easy it is to restore or makeover furniture in your home to give it a new life – or a new purpose!

Even if you don’t want or need old pieces of furniture, take them along to your local second hand shop, and who knowns, your trash may end up as someone’s treasure!

For more information on these and more Makeover Magic projects, visit www.Home-Dzine-Online.co.za.

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