Give your old furniture a new life! Find out how to restore them correctly!


Using old furniture is an excellent option for those who want to furnish the house at low cost prices.

It is also a very sustainable option at a stage when there is so much talk about sustainable economy, reuse, care for the environment, etc.

However, furniture is sometimes very worn out by its long years of use and use, so it is important to learn how to restore furniture in a practical, smart and economical way.


We particularly love the combination of antique furniture with modern and contemporary furniture, so the combination of elements of different phases and styles can make a difference when decorating your space.

One of the advantages associated with the restoration and the use of old pieces is the quality that this furniture has in relation to more current pieces. Old furniture is usually made of solid wood which makes it more resistant and durable.

How to restore old furniture

First of all, and if you are going to start restoring furniture, it is important that you have some material and equipment at home. Most of the material is easy to find in DIY stores.

For this task, you will need Sandpaper; Steel Wool; Spatulas; Brushes; Brushes; Painting tray; Cleaning material: cloths, basin, soap; Wood glue; Bitumen for wood; Paints; Primer for preparing wood; Solvent; Varnish and protective material: glasses, masks and gloves.

Never forget, and before starting the process, to put protective material on the floor, in order to avoid accidents and unnecessary damage.

If you want to decorate your piece, don’t forget to buy handles or other accessories that you consider necessary.


First step: remove drawers, handles, hinges, mirrors or other elements that are part of the furniture in order to facilitate the start of our cleaning.

You can and should take into consideration the type of cloth you are going to use, so choose the softer ones and a product that completely removes grease from the furniture.

A homemade tip: use soap and water for this purpose. A precious tip: the furniture must be impeccably clean for a better adhesion of the products.

Furniture preparation

After cleaning, remove the existing varnish and paint layers. To do this you can use paint stripper or steel wool for thinner layers.

Some furniture is waxed, rather than varnished. However, the finish, although beautiful, requires more constant maintenance.

When removing the paint and varnish layer it will be easier to see where it is necessary to apply putty of wood or bitumen to cover small cracks. Do not forget to sand the dough so that it is uniform.

Painting or Varnishing

In case you just want to varnish the wood, the ideal is to ensure that the furniture is impeccably clean.

If the goal is to paint the furniture, it may be necessary to apply a primer to ensure the durability and adhesion of the paint.

If necessary, apply the primer before the new coat of paint. Between the primer and the paint layers, fine sandpaper should always be applied, as this will ensure better adhesion. Do not forget that the paint must dry between the layers.

Final Finishes

After the restoration work, it is necessary to replace hinges, drawers and handles. The handles can be replaced, and other decorative elements as well. This is because often the person who restores it wants to give his furniture a more elegant and modern look.

Where to buy second-hand furniture

Now that you know how to restore furniture, but most importantly the furniture itself is missing, you can start by looking at second hand furniture stores.

These stores often have a solidarity aspect and their workers also make transport and small arrangements.

Obviously there are vintage furniture stores, in this case, the furniture usually comes in perfect condition but the prices are also very different. You can find parts at affordable prices or parts at very high prices

If you are going to buy furniture for this purpose, do not forget to think about the amount of work you will have and the experience you have. If you have never restored a piece of furniture, you may want to start with a piece of furniture that needs only maintenance.

Is it worth restoring old furniture?

In our opinion it is always worth it because we are passionate about restorations and vintage pieces!

However, this does not always happen! ALWAYS assess the condition of the furniture (color, shades, mold, humidity, etc.) and if in doubt, seek the opinion of a professional.

Remember: not all furniture can be restored, especially those that have already been sanded and painted.

Another important issue: budget. As a general rule, restoring furniture pays off, even if you have to buy second-hand furniture and painting materials.

However, some restoration projects may require greater investment. The final decision is entirely yours and the emotional value you may or may not have with the piece.

Knowing how to restore furniture requires experience and some dedication, but once you start the process you usually don’t want to stop.

Good restorations!

Lara Oliveira

We are a graduated team in Architecture and Interior Design with experience in the development and monitoring of Architecture and Decoration projects, rehabilitation, remodeling, material counseling, choice of decorative pieces and others. We are passionate about aesthetics and refined and elegant environments, with a lot of character and personality!