10 Common Furniture Restoration Mistakes
When you want to revitalize and restore your favorite furniture piece, getting the help of a professional is always a good idea. If you decide to do it yourself, there are 10 common furniture restoration mistakes to avoid. These can not only ruin the form and function of the piece, but also end up costing you more money and time in the long run.
1 – Ignoring Safety
Furniture restoration involves chemicals and tools that can injure you, irritate your skin, eyes and mucous membranes, or harm you if inhaled. Every time you begin restoring a table, couch or cabinet, always use eye protection and gloves, and be sure the area is well-ventilated.
2 – Ignoring Instructions
Not only do you need to know how to restore the piece of furniture itself, but each stripping chemical, paint and stain has directions of its own to follow. Even things like sandpaper and tools require certain methods for optimum results.
3 – Failure to Protect the Area Properly
Whether you are working inside the house, in the garage, or outside, it is important to protect the ground, walls, and other items nearby before you begin the restoration project. The last thing you want is a beautiful table with matching splatters on the wall.
4 – Incomplete or Incorrect Removal of Old Materials
All old fabric and filling must be cut away carefully or removed by pulling out staples or nails that hold it in place. The paint and stain on wooden or metal parts of the furniture piece need to be removed in a safe manner.
5 – Failure to Clean the Furniture Correctly
Once an item is stripped or bare, it should be cleaned completely before the new finish is put on. Any part that is wet, oily, or dusty will not take the stain or paint smoothly.
6 – Rushing the Job
A furniture restoration job is time-consuming, but cutting corners will only cause problems in the long run. Complete each step well before moving on to the next.
7 – Skipping the Repair Step
Once you have the paint or stain off, you have the perfect opportunity to fill holes, repair cracks, or improve the structural integrity of the old piece of furniture.
8 – Skipping the Sanding and Prep Work
Not only does sanding a piece of wooden furniture make it smoother, it also prepares the wood to take the paint or stain more evenly. Likewise, a coat of primer paint is an important step to make the finished project look better.
9 – Choosing the Wrong Materials for the Furniture Piece
While some purists may say you shouldn’t put zebra-striped velvet on an antique couch, those decisions ultimately come down to your personal tastes. However, materials must be appropriate for their purpose. The fabric on a chair must be appropriate for upholstery, and thick and sturdy enough to not fall apart with frequent use.
10 – Uneven Painting and Staining
Two of the major reasons why paint or stain ends up uneven or blotchy are rushing through the furniture restoration job and failing to prep the piece appropriately. If you want the piece to look its best, use primer, sand everything first to make sure it’s smooth, and take your time with the brush, sponge, or rag when you apply the color and sealants.
Now that you know what to avoid, feel free to contact Lim’s Upholstery if you are in the Beaverton/Portland area and would like the job done by a professional. With decades of experience, you can trust Lim’s with your most beloved pieces.