No matter if it’s strictly decorative or whether it’s for functional purposes, wooden furniture has it’s origins in our beginnings and can help produce many different atmospheres.

Types of wood surfaces

Wood with Shades, ageing, cracks, grooves can all contribute to the personality and add character to a wooden piece of furniture.

Wood lovers, lovers of decoration and vintage or old natural style pieces will want to be sure of respecting the style and the features when carrying out any restoration work and no electric sander should ever be used on wood with natural features.

Modern styled furniture with sharp contrasting edges and sweeping lines offers a different feel and often has that clean, sharp and modern feel to them. Classic or modern style furniture with large smooth surfaces are much more simple to work with.

Anyone can restore a wooden piece of furniture once you know you have the basic knowledge to correctly prepare the wood for resurfacing and a portable belt sander to help you smooth out any defects quicker and with less work.

Things that you will need know are how to repair a hole or remove a scratch and the best practices for sanding and taking the piece back down to bare wood whilst preserving the wood’s natural surface and appearance.

Once you have the preparation side down resurfacing the wood with paint, wax, oil or even enamel will be a much more pleasant experience and the results will be a pride inducing masterpiece.

Removing unwanted layers

If you want to restore wooden furniture that is covered with damaged or ageing paint, it is essential to put in the prep work at the beginning, starting with a scraper to carefully remove any flaked paint.

You will need to run the scraper over the paint holding the scraper at around 35-40 degree angle and not applying hardly any downwards pressure on the wood. Pushing down too hard could result in you snagging the wood forcing the scraper to dig into the wood.

Setting up the belt sander

Once you have removed the flaky paint it’s time to pull your belt sander out of the toolbox and set it up using the correct grit sandpaper.

If your belt sander has the dust extraction feature then take advantage of it and use it, it won’t stop all the dust escaping but it will keep it down to a better level.

Always remember to wear a dust mask and utilize any dust removal features you may have on the belt sander.

The fine dust from this type of work is especially bad for your lungs because it’s so fine it enters the lungs easily but doesn’t come out easily or at all.

Goggles should also be considered due to the fine dust scratching your eyes when it gets in.

It’s important to choose the correct sandpaper grade so it matches up to the task. How many layers there are on the work piece will dictate what grit sandpaper you will want to start with.

The higher the grit number of the sandpaper the smoother finish it will produce.

Choosing the correct grit number.

If it’s just 1 or 2 layers of soft paint, varnish or wax it’s best to start with the smooth grit paper of around 220 grit or anything higher.

If you are facing 3 or more layers of tough paint then start with lower grit sandpaper around 120 grit and move on to the 220 grit when you get down to the last layer or 2.

The reason for using the fine grit paper once you get to 1 or 2 layers left is because you want to leave the wood furniture as close to original in definition and features as possible.

If you were using the rough grit sandpaper right down to the wood it’s easy to sand the wood down too far in places giving an uneven surface and detracting from the furnitures appearance.

The belt sander is perfect for flat surfaces but shouldn’t be used on curved edges or decorative parts for that you should sand by hand to keep the integrity of the shapes.

Use a similar system to the one we use for choosing the belt sanders sandpaper grit level to avoid any over sanding but go down to the last layer of paint before switching to the ultra-fine smooth grit sandpaper.

Repairing scratches or holes

Over time, your wooden furniture may develop cracks, scratches, or small holes.

If you are painting your furniture scratches can be easily covered up by giving the furniture a base coat of paint and partly sanding it down again until it’s smooth and the scratches can’t be felt by hand.

Once this is complete your work-piece is ready for its final coat of paint. You can be confident if you have followed the steps for preparation you will be left with a professional-looking finish that is smooth to the touch and pleasing to the eye.

Any holes can be filled with wood pulp for natural unpainted pieces and painted pieces can be filled using wood filler or wood pulp.

The advantages of using wood pulp are that it comes in a variety of colors and can be sanded down to any shape making it versatile for naturally finished type furniture that only has oil or varnish finishes.

Now your furniture is ready to be resurfaced and replenished and it will preserve it’s condition so it can be enjoyed for many years to come.

The big advantage of trying this for yourself and learning how to make minor or major repairs to wooden items is you can keep doing it pretty much indefinitely and you will rarely need to throw away wooden furniture or replace items in the home that have become damaged or worn.