Tips for Finishing Your Own Furniture Tips for Finishing Your Own Furniture

There is no doubt that furniture is a major investment, often costing many thousands of dollars and taking lots of time to choose. It just makes sense then to keep your furniture investments in tip top shape, and to learn how to enjoy the longest useful life from the furniture you buy. Refinishing and repairing your own furniture is not as difficult a process as you may think, but it is important to gain the knowledge needed, and to gather the tools you will need to complete the job.

There are a number of items every furniture refinisher should have in his or her toolbox, and the time to gather these tools and supplies is before the finishing project begins. Make sure you have the following items on hand:

  • Sandpaper of varying grits
  • A supply of quality paintbrushes in various sizes
  • Plenty of old rags
  • Plenty of patience and good humor

In addition to these basic supplies, many furniture finishers find that having access to an electric sander makes the job a lot faster and easier. A small orbital sander that swirls and vibrates is a great tool to have on hand.

Of course before you can start that finishing project and start honing your skills, you will need some furniture to finish or refinish. If you already have a great piece of furniture that has seen better days, by all means get started and give it a new look. If you prefer to buy new furniture, you may be able to save a great deal of money by buying unfinished furniture and finishing it yourself. Many parts of the country have one or more of these unfinished furniture stores, and the discounts compared to traditional furniture stores are often substantial.

One of the hardest decisions in the process will be how to finish this raw furniture. There are a number of choices, from the most traditional to the most unique and contemporary. Many people will choose to simply match the finish of their furniture with the overall décor of the home. Others may choose to stain and finish the furniture with a clear top coat and a good quality stain.

There is a difference, of course, between painting and staining furniture. The biggest difference is that paint is opaque, designed to cover the surface of the wood. Stains, on the other hand, are transparent, designed to allow the natural beauty of the wood to shine through.

The clear coat or top coat that goes on top of the stain comes in a variety of choices as well, including flat, semi-gloss or shiny. The type of top coat you choose will depend on your own tastes and needs. Some of the newer polyurethane finishes are designed for do-it-yourself furniture refinishers in mind, and they are easy to apply, fast drying and easy to clean up as well. In addition, many of these new top coats are nearly fume free, unlike some other choices.

Other popular choices for finishing or refinishing furniture include a personal touch. Hand painted finishes are very popular these days, and many people find that they can give their creativity free reign when they hand paint their own furniture. No matter what your level of artistic skill, you may want to give hand painting a try. It is of course a good idea to begin your artistic expressions with an inexpensive piece of furniture, such as a small bookcase, or a barstool purchased at an unfinished furniture store.

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