DIY Home + Garden Furniture Refinishing Skills that You Need to Know

Published on August 8th, 2014 | by Julie Finn


25 Furniture Refinishing Skills that You Need to Know

Furniture Refinishing Skills that You Need to Know

Furniture refinishing doesn’t use just one skill; it uses ALL of them.

Sure, maybe you’re great at painting, but how are you at re-upholstering? Maybe you can re-upholster like a champ… but can you tile? You can paint a wooden dresser, but can you paint a metal filing cabinet? A laminate bookshelf? A mirror?

Fortunately, for every project that you need to complete, there’s an expert online to tell you how to do it. Here’s a list of the 25 most important furniture refinishing skills, the ones that will get you safely and happily through the most makeover projects–and, most importantly, here’s how to do them correctly!

1. Strip paint. Use an eco-friendly paint stripper, such as SOY-Gel.

2. Sand and prime. Skip most of that sanding by using an eco-friendly, no-sand primer.

3. Complete a basic paint job. Basic repainting on a wooden (not laminate) piece of furniture includes cleaning, sanding where necessary, priming, and painting.

4. Chalk paint furniture. There’s less prep work involved.

5. Spray paint furnitureNon-toxic spray paint does exist!

6. White-wash furnitureIt’s a very specific look, but it goes well with other shabby chic decor.

7. Paint laminate furnitureIt’s trickier than just painting bare wood–DON’T skimp on the perfect primer!

8. Graffiti furnitureThe kids will LOVE to help with this project!

9. Mod Podge onto furnitureSometimes a piece of furniture needs a paper or fabric coating instead of paint.

10. Paint a doorDoors also make good tables.

11. Make a Dutch doorA Dutch door can come in really handy–it’s a built-in baby gate, for one thing.

12. Stencil onto furnitureThis tutorial covers both small and large designs.

13. Customize drawer pullsYou can do a lot with washers and scrapbook paper.

14. Polish bare wood. Try any of these natural options for wood polish, or make your own wood polish.

15. Clean and polish metalSteel wool and oil are your friends.

16. Antique a mirrorWho wants to see their reflection that clearly, anyway?

17. Tile a mirrorIt’s basically creating the frame of your choice.

18. Tile a tubYou can make your builder-grade bathtub look REALLY fancy!

19. Paint a fanColor wheel, anyone?

20. Stencil on a fanThis looks more sophisticated than a full-coat paint job.

21. Paint a refrigeratorBecause your refrigerator is ugly.

22. Cover a lampshadeIt’s the easiest way to give your lamp an entirely new look.

23. Re-upholster a chairIt’s an extensive project, but once you know how to do it, you’ve got so much power!

24. Cover a chairDon’t want to re-upholster you’re entire dining suite? This is an easier option.

25. Add castersMake your furniture mobile!

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

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