Restoring old furniture can take some work however, your hard work can really pay off in the end and the furniture will be restored to be natural beauty and luster. Once old furniture is restored to its natural beauty, it may be worth some money to furniture and antique collectors.
Collectors normally look for old cedar chests, bureaus, nightstands, tiffany lamps and headboards. The first step of course is to begin the task of restoring the furniture to its natural beauty.
You will first begin by sanding. Sanding can take a great deal of work however; an electric sander will make it a bit easier. Once the sanding is complete, it is time to give the furniture the first coat of varnish or stain. It is best to try to match the original color of the varnish or stain.
Next, make sure you apply the varnish in a well-ventilated area. The fumes from the varnish are very bad for the eyes, lungs and skin. Allow furniture to dry for about two days. After two days it is time to give it a second coat of varnish. Repeat the process allowing the furniture to dry another 48 hours. Once the second coat is dry, you will have a pretty good idea if you need to apply a third.
It is beat to refinish one piece of furniture at a time unless you have several people helping you with the task. If a third coat of varnish is required then more than likely you will be done once the third coat dries. Only in rare cases will four coats of varnish need to be applied.
Within about a week after completion, the furniture will be ready to display in your home or be sold to an antique collector.