Furniture Renovation (shabby Antique Bed As an Example)




Introduction: Furniture Renovation (shabby Antique Bed As an Example)

About: I love to make DIY projects with my son

In current days the furniture is mainly made by big companies, not from wood but from from plywood, from harl or at best from raw pinewood. It's very hard to get something more solid, or different from the others, because the furniture is made fast, cheap and it should broke after few year to force You to buy new one.

In older days things were a little bit different. The old furniture is mainly made from solid wood. Sometimes it is pinewood only covered with the veneer, but sometimes it is just solid wood. Moreover old furnitures has often more style and elegance, because they have to be pretty at the first place, not cheap and fast to built.

In this instructable I want to encourage You to buy old furniture and renovate it. You will see, that it is in fact really easy. Of course it takes some time, but after investing some hours You will end with really original furniture which still would be cheaper than this from shop, from harl.

Step 1: Selecting the Furniture to Renovation

We will go through the renovation process of the bed. This bed is made from solid wood - it's good, but on some parts it is covered with the veneer - it's not so good, because when the veneer is very broken, You have to replace it or rip off (I'll show You how in the further steps). So, If You are searching for the furniture to restore, try to find one from solid wood without the veneer.

Our bed isn't the prettiest. It has many different colors, three types of laquer (somebody tires the renovation before), many, many scratches, wormholes and living bugs in them.

So let's start..

Step 2: Cleanning and Disassembling

First step is to clean the furniture with just the water and disasemble it.

Not only to get rid of filth and cobwebs, but also to see all defects.

Step 3: Big Flat Parts

Next step is to sand the laquer with the stain layers. The easiest parts for that work are the flat long surfaces, because You can use the belt grinders for them. They allow You to rip the layers very quickly, but be carefull to not destroy the veneer (if You have some on Your furniture) and be sure, that You are working along not acros the grain (as on picture)

Step 4: Smaller, Fancy Parts

There are two ways for sanding the smaller parts:
- by hand - it's ok, but it is very time consuming process
- with some small sanders like mine on the picture

You have to be aware however, that even, if You have the small sander, probably still there will be some moments that You will have to sand with just hands.

I recommend to start sanding with the 100-120 grit and end with 300-360 grit. It depends of the wood. If the wood is dense, You can use smaller grits, but if would is like pine, You have to use higher/finer sandpapers, or You leave ugly scratches.

Step 5: Veneers

Broken veneer could be repaired in two ways:

- You can replace the veneer and this is the best solution

- Or You can rip the veneer and sand the wood beneth

I recommend the first solution, but in case of my bed restoration, I chose the second one. This is because I did not have the right veneer to replece the orginal one. I rip off the broken surface, then I sand the pine wood from beneeth and then I tried to stain it to exact same color as the rest of the wood. It works.

Step 6: Bugs&Wormholes

Before You assemble and stain the furniture, You have to kill all the bugs. It can be made by puting the poison to every wormhole. Then You have the choice. You could leave the holes (as I did) or cover/hide them using wood putty.

It is a metter of taste. I, for example, like when the wood has wormholes, because You can see at the first glimpse of an eye, that the furniture has some history and it's not new.

Step 7: Staining & Laquering


This is DIY renovation, so I'm assuming that we are using the brush. The easiest stain for use with this kind of tool is stain based on oil (not oil stain). It is very easy to apply. Much better than ie. water stains. It dries in such manner, that You have plenty time to correct mistakes and it does not leave the smudges.


This time too I'm assuming use of brush, so the best choice is acrylic laquer. Very easy to use, but also on the market there are very friendly acryclic laquers with atests to use even for toys used by children, so they are pretty safe.

Step 8: Enjoy Your Restored Furniture

That's all. As I said it takes some time to renovate the furniture but still I encourage You to do this. You will get not only the brand new antique, but also the satisfaction from saving broken thing.

If You want to see in much more details the step which I described, You should see the vide attached to this instructable.

Thanks for reading and I wish You Your own succeses in restorations :)

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    2 years ago

    Great tips, and your newly refinished bed looks excellent!