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Make Your Oak Furniture Work In Your New Home

Your oak furniture has perhaps overstayed its welcome – your dog gnawed on the corners, the legs are wobbling/shaking side to side, and the wood surface looks “ruined”. You could give the pieces to your friends or family when moving into a new house, but if the furnishings have some sentimental value, it’ll be hard, if not impossible, to part with them because they make you feel connected to people and experiences long gone. Now, what do you do with antique oak furniture that you don’t want to throw away? You make it work in your new home, of course.

Oak furniture becomes more nuanced and attractive with age, but it can show signs of wear and tear, especially if it’s been treated badly. You must repair structural issues and address a few cosmetic ones with wood filler, stain, and a fresh finish coat. More often than not, all you have to do is clean the oak furniture well and coat it with a refreshing finish to enhance its appearance and durability. If you’re not that lucky, here are a few steps you can use to breathe new life into your tired oak furniture. A new home means a fresh start, but not every move requires new furniture.

Use Varnish to Protect the Wood from Scrapes and Scratches

You can remove fine scratches from the oak furniture and restore it to its former glory without stripping it down, but the solution depends on the damage you’re dealing with. For example, you can use a wood filler that dries quickly and provides a durable surface to repair the more profound damages. It’s suitable for gouges, nail holes, and filling in gaps, to name a few. Oak wood varnish can be used as a topcoat for the worn finish as it gives warmth to the grain and makes the furniture resistant to abrasions, water, and alcohol.

Varnish is based on natural resins and oils, thinned with mineral spirits or turpentine. Use spray varnish only if brushing is impractical: apply several thin layers from left to right, gliding across the object in a smooth motion. Above all, wait before the coat is fully dry before applying a new one. Remove dirt, oil, grease, and wax ahead of time and smooth out the rough surfaces if you don’t want to end up with an uneven paint job that appears unsightly, messy, and unprofessional. If the furniture piece has doors, drawers, shelving, or other removable parts, take them off and finish them horizontally.

If A Piece of Furniture Is High Quality, Reupholstering Is Worth It

It’s not okay to throw away something that’s in perfectly good working condition because it can be refurbished without much difficulty, a project that even amateurs can handle. Reupholstering is a fantastic way to turn a piece of furniture from bland to bold, but it’s expensive if you hire a professional, so you might want to do it yourself and create something truly unique. Oftentimes, a settee or chair needs new fabric, not necessarily luxurious, to reveal its potential, so you can keep memories of loved ones alive; even if it doesn’t have sentimental value, you simply like the chair because of comfort and style.

An item is worth reupholstering if it’s made with quality materials or it’s close to your design vision but not available in the ideal fabric. Materials like leather or organic cotton are more durable than synthetic ones and, therefore, costlier due to their rarity, so take as much time as you need to select a material you’ll be happy with. Bedroom furniture doesn’t need anything heavy-duty, but living room furnishings often do. Before adding the new upholstery, remove the old finish and add wood oil to ensure the furniture can withstand the rigors of daily life and ages gracefully with time.

Use Your Imagination and Create Any Special Effect You Want

To add that little extra that makes all the difference, use embellishments to elevate your interior design and transform your space from ordinary to something extraordinary. You can decorate the oak furniture with wallpaper – the transformation is remarkable. The possibilities are never-ending, so you can upcycle cupboards, wardrobes, chests of drawers, tables, and many other objects, just make sure to do both the inside and the outside. Apply enamel to conceal some of the surface flaws and provide a glossy texture to your furniture to make it look as good as new.

Till you apply any special-effect technique, be certain the oak wood surface is clean and smooth to avoid imperfections and uneven coverage. Use sandpaper to roughen the surface and reduce unwelcome surprises (e.g., splinters), transforming the wood into an investment piece that adds value to your home and lifestyle. If you’re struggling with big pieces of furniture, it’s best to use a sanding block to attach sandpaper to avoid splinters in your hand and fingers; fancier versions use teeth, clips, and clamps to hold the paper in place. Suppose you’re going to wipe the surface with a damp cloth. In that case, make sure it’s scorched before doing anything else.

Wrapping it Up

Oak furniture doesn’t last forever unless it’s well-loved, so if you’ve had yours for a long, long time, ensure it continues to look pristine by practicing good care and maintenance. If your cherished possessions have seen better days, restore them to their former glory, in other words, make the pieces usable once again (and perhaps add value). The artist’s signature or manufacturer’s stamp on the furnishing makes it worth the time and effort. Needless to say, decades of wear and tear can cause them to fade out, but if you manage to restore these essential patterns, you can boost the furniture’s value down the road.

If you’ve accumulated multiple pieces of furniture over the years, you now have furnishings fit for your new home, so your move will be a stress-free affair – that’s all you need! Oak is thick, heavy in shape and has an interesting grain, but unfortunately, it can stain easily, absorbing stain faster and deeper, especially if it doesn’t have a modern finish like a varnish. By restoring your oak furniture, you can reduce your carbon footprint and preserve the memories, stories, and history that come with it.