She’s Crafty: Vintage Furniture Repair

It is such a cool thing to find a good piece of vintage furniture at a great price. Anyone who likes mid-century pieces for their homes knows that a good piece can be very pricey.  When we found our buffet and end table, being sold at a not-to-be-believed price, I knew we absolutely had to have it (Brendan was not so sure, but eventually came around).  One of the reasons it was so affordable was because there were a lot of cosmetic damages.

Now, I’ll just admit this up front, I am new to the furniture repair club, but I am confident, and often take on large projects that eventually drive me crazy, so when obviously when Brendan said, “Can you repair this if we get it?” I said, “Of course I can do it!!”

Of course I spent the better part of an evening *covertly* researching what I should do to repair my buffet and end table. The important thing is, I was right. I could repair my furniture, here’s how.

Murphy’s Oil Soap, Howard’s Feed-N-Wax, fine sand paper, and Danish Oil.  They are all you’ll need, well, those, some soft rags, a ventilated place, and some elbow grease. I’ve never understood that phrase… Elbow grease… Anyway.

Let me show you the before pictures of my buffet:

As you can see, there were odd spots of greying, and in some places, like the picture above, the wood has dried out.  We had dusted the problem spots over and over again, but it just didn’t work.

So here’s what I did:

First, I sanded down the problem areas with fine (320) sand paper.  It is very important to be gentle, and not sand off the original finish (you want your vintage piece to maintain its look), and to not sand against the grain. Don’t you do it! You will regret it!

After removing the hardware from the buffet, I began to sand it down. See all the greying?

Look at it start to disappear as I sanded the problem spot.

Now you spray it with Murphy’s Oil Soap and wipe it down with a soft cloth.

See, it already looks better!

Take your time with all the little nooks and crannies, if there are hard to reach areas, just slowly and carefully sand away, and the Murphy’s Oil Soap will do the rest.

It took me FOREVER to do the above piece, but it looks so good now!

After you have finished with Murphy’s, then you take your Danish oil (remember gloves!), apply it to a soft cloth, and rub all your pieces down. I used a Natural Finish, to maintain the integrity of the piece. Brendan and I had thought to use a darker stain, but the wood’s original color was so nice, I am glad that we picked the Natural Finish. It goes on clear, and brings out the beautiful colors in the wood.

See how shiny it is now?! Let the wood dry for thirty minutes, then wet your cloth again, and rub all the pieces down. Wait fifteen minutes, then take a clean soft cloth and rub them all down.

Now it’s time for Howard’s Feed-N-Wax. This stuff is awesome and also very strong-smelling.. Make sure to have a fan about, or do this project outside (says the girl who got a major headache from all the smelly smells).

Pour a liberal amount of Howard’s FNW, and rub it into another cloth.

Be generous with this stuff. Slather it on to your pieces, and  then wait twenty minutes. Wipe off excess.

Congratulations, you’re finished. Have a cookie. Or be a grumpy pants because your head hurts (no ventilation for the smelly smells), and have your husband fix you breakfast for dinner.  I think I would have preferred the cookie; but love my husband because he’s the best.

Here’s the finished product:

Tune in tomorrow for non-crappy iPhone pictures! My camera’s batteries are dead. I’ll before and after close-ups!

That’s all folks!





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