Thursday, July 30, 2009

Restoring Used Furniture

So, you've just bought an ugly duckling at a bargain price using Craigslist. Way to go!

Now what?

The following steps will get your piece of furniture from ugly duckling to beautiful swan.

Here's the table I just bought for $85 using Craigslist. It's a solid wood cocktail table that measures 40in x 40 in.

Closeup of the chewed up corner.

Sample of scratches.

Step 1: Wipe the surface clean.

Step 2: Use Restor-A-Finish with a rag (or fine steel wool for deeper scratches) and gloves. Follow the instructions on the container--wipe over entire surface, then wipe dry. That's it. It took me about half an hour.

The result.

Unfortunately, the chewed up corner still shows up too much for my liking.

Step 3: Sand the chewed corners. Then wipe clean.

Step 4: Stain the corner to match the rest of the table. I used a medium oak stain.

Step 5: Make sure to thoroughly, but gently stir the stain before using it.

Step 6: Dip the rag into the stain, then dab onto the wood. Wipe excess off gently.

Step 7 (Optional): Finish with Howard Feed-N-Wax wood preserver. Saturate a rag, wipe on surface, let sit for 20 min, then polish with a clean rag. This step gives the wood a little extra sheen and protection.

Final result...

...and at home in my family room.

  • Find all the supplies at Home Depot or Lowe's: sandpaper--$3; stain--$4; Restor-A-Finish--$8; Feed-N-Wax--$8.
  • Save the supplies for your next project, since these will supply you with more than enough.


  1. you've just bought an ugly duckling at a bargain price using Centralist.. used office furniture

  2. Becky that looks GREAT! You're amazing! I love this blog, so much great info! You're 'huntress' picture is so cute too!