I don’t know about you, but when I see an old piece of furniture that needs a little bit of TLC, I become excited about the endless restoration possibilities. This is exactly what happened with my recent DIY project étagère bookcase furniture restoration project.
My mom worked in the interior design field, prior to having children. In the early 80’s she was decorating her and my Dad’s first home, and bought some fancy étagères. They are also known as curved top bookcases, not ‘Eddie’s Chairs’ as my husband calls them! They are really well made with solid sturdy oak. I grew up loving these pieces, and asked my mom if I could use them in my home if she ever purchased new pieces. In January, I officially adopted them!
The only problem was they were still in the original blonde oak color, which looks a bit outdated in our home. I knew I wanted to update their color while keeping the woodgrain visible, in order to preserve the warmth and flow of the pieces. Hilariously, this is the first restoration project I ever had anxiety over. There was procrastination working on these pieces for a couple of months not only because they were going to be a huge focal point in my living room, but because they were special to my parents. I took my time sanding them and testing for the right stain, ultimately selecting the third stain I tried.
Finally, it was stain day. I drank a huge cup of tea, turned up my country music, and went to work. I only wanted to do one coat, again so the wood grain would show. Due to this, it has a variegated final look. In certain places the stain is darker than others, but I am really happy with the way they turned out!
For those of you who have already redone some pieces, I’d love to see pictures of your refurbished furniture! Please post them in the comments below and let me know if you have any tips or tricks that worked for you.
Here is what I did for this project:
Supplies you need:
-An old furniture piece. I redo pieces that are made of real wood, without a plastic or laminate finish
-Orbital Power Sander, purchase here!
-Sand paper and sanding sponges. For removing old paint and stain, I recommend using 60 to 80 grit sandpaper. Use higher grit paper, such as 120 grit for finishing touches and smoothing. Purchase here!
-A can of your preferred stain color. I used Miniwax Polyshades in Espresso. I was really happy with this product as it combines the stain color with the polyurethane protective sealant. Purchase here!
-A pack of paint brushes. Purdy is the brand I currently use and have been really happy with their quality. Purchase here!
Steps to Stain:
– Wipe off furniture surface with a clean, warm rag to remove dust and dirt.
– Sand all surface areas, including crevices and carved areas.
– Use a rag with hot water and mild liquid soap to remove all sanding dust and debris. Let furniture piece dry completely.
– Paint first coat of stain on your furniture piece. It is best to use long smooth strokes that go with the wood grain. Let the first coat fully dry. Evaluate if one coat is enough for the look you want. If not, apply a second coat, allowing it to fully dry as well.
Note: Using the Miniwax Polyshades Stain is a bit different than using other stains as it has a thicker texture to it. Watch carefully for stain drops as these can dry quickly and will needed to be sanded down once dry. If you get drops, smooth them out quickly before drying has begun to even out the surface and not have uneven paint.
– Use finishing sand paper to sand any drops of paint or uneven areas. Use the hot, soapy water again to remove the dust. Let dry. Repeat as needed.
-Touch up areas with stain that needed sanding.
-Let stain dry completely
-Bring your updated piece inside and decorate it accordingly. Obviously, take pictures of your final product to show off to your friends, because you are just that cool. Honestly. Don’t forget send ME pictures (or post them in comments below) of your final products, because I already think you are awesome!