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3 Best Ways to Restore Wooden Furniture

Updated: 12/26/2023
Restore Wooden Furniture

It may be true that restoring wood is a tough process because of all of the hard work it takes to do so. It’s also very rewarding when done the correct way. The key to knowing how to restore wooden furniture is to know what process should be used to make the wood look as good as possible.

There are, in fact, many ways to restore wood, but only three that do the job great each and every time. Below are the three best ways to restore wooden furniture.


Cleaning wood is part of every restoration job, but sometimes it is all that is needed to make the wood furniture look as good as the day it was first manufactured. You might know that there is going to be more to the process than just cleaning, but it is still vital that the cleaning is done the right way.

When using oil cleaner on your wood furniture, it is important to use a soft fabric or sponge. After a thorough cleaning, you have to let the oil cleaner dry completely before removing it from the wood. Depending on the age of the wood, you may need to go through this process multiple times before the wood is completely clean.

Believe it or not, sometimes water and soap can do the job better than any cleaner you will find at the store. It’s the same process as with oil-based cleaners, but you will pretty much always have to go over the wood a couple of times to get the desired effect.

The reason why you should always clean the furniture before you go through any other process is because you might find out that all you need to do is clean it off to get your furniture back to looking fantastic. Of course, if you need to do a bit more restoration work, that’s okay, too.


If you have minor scratches on your wood furniture or the wood is losing its color, retouching is usually the best way to go to restore it. Retouching costs quite a bit less than refinishing, so if it’s only nicked up a little bit, you can probably get it fully restored with just a simple cleaning and retouching process.

For discoloration, you will need vegetable oil and steel wool for the removal of the bad layer of wood on top of the furniture. You can’t aggressively use the wool, or you will run the risk of damaging the wood even more. A gentle rub with the vegetable oil will get the job done. Finish off this process by applying wood furniture wax to the wood.

If the problem has anything to do with small cracks in the wood, then you will need to buy chemicals to put the wood through a re-amalgamation process, which will liquefy the original finish so a new top layer of wood is seen. The chemicals that you need depend on the type of wood your furniture is made out of, so get this information before you go to the store.


Any type of damage that is worse than what can be handled by retouching needs to be refinished. Like with retouching, a chemical will be placed on the original finish. This chemical is known as a stripper, as it completely strips the wood of its original finish, which will take away all serious cracks or deep discoloration.

Along with stripping the finish, it’s usually necessary to sand the wood to make the wood smooth again. However, in some cases, the chemical stripper does the job well enough to keep the wood smooth enough where sanding is not necessary.

The staining process is very important when refinishing because you have to know what type of stain you need for your wooden furniture. If you don’t get the stain right, you will have to start the entire process over. A good way to make sure that you are using the right stain is to test it out on a small piece of wood to see how it is going to end up looking on your furniture.

As you can see, the type of restoration that your wood furniture needs depends on the types of issues that it has. There are decisions that you’ll have to make no matter which way you choose to restore your furniture, but it’s actually very rewarding to see a finished piece of restored wood. It’s also a money saver because you won’t have to buy a whole new furniture set every couple of years.

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