Refurbishing antique kitchen island furnitureis a money-saving method that will revitalize the look and function of your furniture. You may find that the under counter stools used daily at your custom kitchen island are a little wobbly, a bit dirty and could use a little TLC. Instead of replacing these faithful friends, roll up your sleeves, break out some tools and cleansers and give them a well-deserved facelift as part of your kitchen renovations.
Two things you will need to examine are the furniture to be refurbished and the area you intend to do the work in. Make sure you remove any attachable seat cushions on your furniture and clear the work area of any obstruction. Your work area should be well-ventilated with enough space to safely navigate about during the project. Make sure anyone nearby is fully aware of your activity, providing a safe work environment.
Step 2–Clean the Wood
Use a commercially available wood cleaner that will be easy to use. These solutions do a good job removing built up grease, grime and dirt, which helps prepare the wood for a re-finish. Either use a synthetic paint brush to apply the solution using long, even strokes or, better yet, place the solution in a spray bottle that you can evenly spread across the wood surface area of the kitchen island furniture or stool. Start at the bottom working upward to prevent streaking. Use a side to side spraying motion.
Step 3–Soaking In
Wait a few minutes while the cleaning solution soaks into the wood. Use a flexible bristled brush to loosen all dirt and debris. Use a small brush, like a toothbrush, to scrub hard-to-access areas. You may have to use a scraper to remove any decal-like attached decorations. Be careful not to damage the wood by gouging it. A good soaking should loosen and soften the material enough to carefully scrape it off. Remove any damaged wood particles and splinters carefully. Make sure to wear gloves to protect your hands.
Rinse the solution scrubbed wood with a spray bottle of clean water. Carefully examine all areas for spots missed and repeat the soak and scrub step above and rinse again. Once you’ve arrived at a satisfactory level of wood cleanliness, allow the stool to completely dry. 24 hours should do the job.
Step 5–Sand the Wood
After the stool has completely dried from your soak and rub scrubbing, the wood grain should stand out. Smooth the wood using rough sandpaper-but don’t overdo it. You want to rough up the wood just enough to get it to absorb a coat of finish.
Once your stool is cleaned and dry, you now have a bare item ready for refinishing in whatever manner you choose. You may wish to update your choice of paint or wood stain if you have changed the room décor. Always add a final coat of a clear sealant for extra protection.
A helpful hint is to explore fabric stores or flea markets to obtain cushion material for an extra do-it-yourself project to compliment refurbishing your kitchen island stools.