How To Restore An Old Wooden Cabinet

If the furniture to be restored has the paint film or the surface spoiled in-depth, it is not possible to recover the defect with a wax or polishing agent that can only renew the surface part. There are defects that are resolved only with the physical removal of the surface layer of paint: burns and stains that have perforated shellac and/or wax and therefore have also affected the wood can only be eliminated by removing the surface layer spoiled until a rough wood surface.

This can be done on a part of the Cabinet (for example the lid of a table or a bedside table can be delimited from the rest of the cabinet) or, to achieve a homogeneous effect, it is preferable to operate on the whole artifact.

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Clean the surface and eliminate any wood defects.

If the object to be restored remained for a long time in a damp place, leave it in the fresh air for a few days until the wood will turn out to be completely dry and dry to the touch.

  • Apply a paint remover and perfectly eliminate all the remnants of the old paint.
  • Clean with a diluent to remove any residual paint removal.
  • Sand (with 220 grit abrasive) to eliminate any imperfections of the surface.

Observe the object that must be restored to understand if, before painting, special interventions are needed:

  • If the wood has obvious signs of the presence of the worm, it is good to treat the artifact with a bug bomb.
  • If there are holes, cracks or missing parts of the structure, repair the damage with putty in Paste (Puttywood).
  • If there are parts of the structure that come off, repair the situation with natural glue (bead glue) or with a synthetic glue.

At this point, it is necessary to decide the treatment to be performed, which varies in relation to the appearance that you want to give to the furniture to be restored.

It is necessary to choose between a transparent natural treatment (which accentuates the original color and shades of wood, recommended for wood that already has a beautiful natural color), or a tinging treatment (which transforms the original color into the desired shade of wood).

To assess whether the wood already has a “beautiful natural " color, wet the raw/wintered wood with alcohol.

The wet effect can already give an idea of what the color of the wood would look like if painted with the “natural transparent treatment”.

Natural transparent treatment

Accentuates the color, highlights the original grain and shades of wood (recommended for wood that already has a beautiful color to the natural):

  • Sanded wood, clean and dry.
  • Apply a light coat of nourishing and revitalizing oil (restoration oil) to make the natural colors and veins of the wood stand out at maximum intensity.
  • Allow to dry well (at least 12 hours) and review the surface with a dry and clean cloth.

Treatment with tung oil

Turn the original color into the desired shade of wood.

  • Sanded wood, clean and dry.
  • You can easily change the color of the wood with the tung oil. With only one application you get a surface in the preferred wood shade and perfectly even in color.
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