Tricks for fixing that family heirloom or furniture piece.
For a number of years, I have been detailing, repairing, and generally improving furniture pieces, because I resell furniture as one of my business ventures. Below are several tricks of the trade I have learned to redo furniture in your home.
If you come across that older /antique/ or simply vintage piece of wooden furniture that has a multitude of scrapes, scratches or dings, one of the best products I have found to alleviate the situation, without refinishing the entire piece is to apply liberally a product called Liquid Gold. This product can be found at almost any hardware store, lumberyard, and many times in larger grocery stores.
Liquid Gold comes as a spray on product or bulk liquid one quart cans. If you are only going to do a few pieces of furniture only every once in a while, then the spray can would probably service your needs. However if you plan to work on a lot of pieces or continually need this product, it is much more economical to buy your product in the quart size or larger canister.
The product gives off a very pleasant cherry or almond odor which makes it easier to work with, and better to display after using in a home.
A simple soft cloth can be used to wipe away excess spray, or to rub on the liquid form of this product. Simply pour a little bit of the liquid onto your rag and wipe directly on the affected area. Careful not to use too much of the oil , because it takes a while for it to dry up, and more product can leave a little stickiness to the surface. (Note:try a little of the Liquid Gold in a more inconspicuous spot to see it the desired finish is obtained.)
Another product that has proven to be somewhat useful if Formby’s Furniture Refinsher. This is a dissolve and dry reformed into a new finish type agent. The product actually melts the old finish into a liquid, stabilizes it and drys back into its original form without showing the original flaking,splitting, or cracking to the finish surface. I only use this product generally on smaller areas not an entire piece for several reasons.
One reason is the simple cost of the product, the product normally comes in about a 1/2 quart size, and to do the job right can use up the entire can. This can depending on where you buy it can cost you up to twenty dollars a can.
The other reason is that I have found the results may vary from surface to surface, or area to area. One side of a piece might finish out much lighter than another due to what that particular surface has been exposed to. A side which spent most of its life against the wall will have picked up less dirt, grime and/or exposure to light. This can cause various color variations from lighter to darker.
Some people swear by the use of Old English. This product comes in varied shades of stain which can in many cases hide imperfections to the surfaces of the furniture. However especially on large areas, Old English does tend to leave a sticky residue which will attract dirt, and be harder to use on an everyday basis, especially on tables or chairs.
In all cases be sure to allow at least 24 hours to completely allow the product used to dry. After drying, you should be able to apply polishes, or in some cases when using Old English or Formby’s you can overlay with Liquid Gold.
I must stress to only use any of these products in a less visible area at first to see what kind of results may be expected. By taking this simple step, you might avert having to go back and completely refinish the entire piece of furniture.