Did you know that 28 million tons of furniture are thrown away each year in the U.S? That’s an excessive amount of unnecessary waste! However, it can be cut down drastically when you realize that you can make old pieces like new again with a little cleaning, prepping, and refinishing.
When you’re ready to dive into a refinishing or painting project, most of us want to go straight to the fun part. But by cutting the cleaning and prepping process short — or by skipping it altogether — we’re actually risking the quality finish we really want. That’s why Amy is talking all about how to clean and prepare your furniture on this week’s Finish Friday video
Step One: Assess the Damage
If you have a solid wood piece, a wicker chair, or something with veneer, you’ll need to look at it thoroughly to determine what needs the most prep. For example, a veneered piece may be warped from moisture or even be separating from the wood, which will require water-based wood glue and pressure. Wicker, on the other hand, may need some wood filler and a tape wrap to re-adhere loose threads.
In this week’s video, Amy’s husband, Gene Howard, makes a guest appearance to share his many years of expertise in restoring and refinishing furniture. Together, Amy and Gene show you how to apply glue and pressure to repair veneer for a better finish. They also share their tips on how to fill holes from hardware or keyholes, as well as what type of clamps to buy for your preparation process.
Then, once you’ve reversed some of the deeper damage, you’ll be able to get your piece’s surface clean and ready for painting!
Step Two: Clean the Piece Thoroughly
Depending on the age of the furniture you’re wanting to update, you may actually need to do more than clean it with a rag and some warm water. In some cases, varnish or very old sealants may need to be scrubbed off. But one thing Amy and Gene advise against is using oil-based cleaners, as this prevents paint from bonding well to the furniture. For a thorough clean that doesn’t negatively affect your finish or paint, you can use Amy Howard At Home Clean Slate
. Clean Slate removes old finishes and oily, waxy residue, making it possible to clean your furniture with just one product.
Sanding or scraping may also be needed for pieces that have dents or scrapes in the wood, stickers, or deep-set stains. You can also use wood putty to fill in deeper dents or scrapes that can’t be sanded out. Of course, make sure to let any wood putty dry and let your piece sit for at least an hour after using the Clean Slate. Then, go over the piece with a clean, lint-free rag to make sure all residue is gone before you paint.
Step Three: Get Creative!
After your furniture is properly repaired and prepped, it’s time to have a little fun. Depending on the surface you’ll be refinishing, you can use lacquer, One Step Paint, or even Toscana Milk Paint and our waxes to get the look you really want. Once a surface is properly prepped, there’s nothing stopping you from making it beautiful!
This is a great tutorial for anyone who is hoping to give new life to a piece for their homes or creative spaces. As Amy says, “We know that the success of your project starts with this,” so don’t miss this week’s Finish Friday on cleaning and prepping your furniture.
And of course, tune into more Finish Fridays at noon Central on our Facebook page
. If you’re interested in winning free product, watch our Facebook page
to enter each week’s giveaway!