Mark's Three Threat Levels of Restoration & What You Need to Fix your Wood Furniture!

Threat Level Yellow Restore-Con 1: Minor Repair-The piece of furniture is scratched, and the wood is dulled and lifeless.

• Give it a good cleaning with wood conditioning soap to get any dust or dirt particles out of the grooves. We’ve already given our dining room table a good cleaning. • Use wood crayons and markers for scratches. These come in a variety of shades to match whatever wood you have. They are highly affordable starting at $3.00 each and widely available at any home improvement store. Threat Level Orange Restore-Con 2: Moderate Repair-The piece of furniture is nicked and gauged.

• Give the wood a light steel wool refinish. • Use wood waxes and putty for those nicks and gauges. Wood putty is a non-hardening, premixed putty that repairs small holes and covers bare, painted, stained or finished wood. They come in different colors and start around $8.00 for 16 ounces. You want to stain the surface before you use the putty. If you putty first, the resins will get into the wood pores and the stain can’t get into the wood and you end up with dark blotches. Use a putty knife to spread the putty over the imperfections, wipe off excess with a damp cloth. • A new good layer of varnish and those nicks and gauges will disappear. Threat Level Red Restore-Con 3: Extreme Repair-The piece of furniture is rickety, the wood is dried out, the varnish is gone, it looks old and worn.
• Tighten any loose screws with a screwdriver.
• This is where you bring out the big guns. You will need a good paint stripper to get the paint off of the wood. You may even need to use some chemical paint lifters or stain lifters if you wood is stained rather than painted. Follow manufacturer directions of how long to leave the stripper on the wood before you start to remove the stain or paint with the paint stripper. • Then you will need to sand. You need a good palm sander and good quality sandpaper. Sand evenly. The tendency is to put your body weight into the machine. Sometimes that results in putting too much weight in the front end and you could end up with an uneven surface. Make sure to distribute weight evenly when sanding. Let the sander do the work. • Then you can follow up with the same steps we took with the wood putty to fill in gaps. • Follow up with the wood stain of your choice and seal it with a good coat of varnish and you are good to go. Threat Level Fuchsia:-Is this worth it? • Is the time, money and effort of repairing this item worth it? A good rule of thumb is: if you put it together with an Allen wrench, probably not worth going passed Threat Level Yellow. If it is a real solid piece of furniture and means something to you, like your grandfather’s writing desk, go for it. If not – it’s time to replace it!

Wood Furniture Restoration 101 with Mark