Tag Archives: Restoration

A Quick Guide for How to Remove Upholstery on Old Furniture

Antique Couch Upholstery

After long enough, even the most elegant, best loved upholstery can wear out. Whether years of heavy use, a change of aesthetics, or an unfortunate incident with the family pet have made removing upholstery a necessity, you’ll be glad to know the process is actually fairly simple.

First you’ll need the right tools. Ideally that’s a dedicated staple puller (tool inventors weren’t always the most creative namers). However, in a pinch, you could use really any thin metal piece, like an ice pick or flathead screwdriver.

Staple Puller

Pliers should come in handy as well – both for pulling out stubborn staples and for getting the job started. Use the pliers to rip up the trimming, and then keep going until you’ve got it all off and made a nice mess of things, possibly including your fingers.

From there, try pulling up the fabric in a continuous piece if the staples allow you to have your way with it. It’s a good idea to keep this to base new fabric on so you don’t have to make a load of measurements or over-purchase.

Reupholstered Couch

The staples are the tedious part. You might be able to alternate between ripping up the upholstery and plucking the metal out, or you may have to do one after the other. Either way, always be careful – you’re dealing with some old, sharp metal that could be rusted. Keep those eyes and hands safe!

Photo Credits (from top): RedsZone, my DIY adventures, and Ideal Upholstery

4 Tips for Buying Second Hand Furniture

Second Hand Furniture

It’s no secret that furniture can be expensive. With many options for quality chairs, tables, couches, etc. going for a minimum of 3 figures, filling your spaces with brand new furniture can really start racking up.

The best alternative? Second hand furniture comes with multiple benefits. Not only is it (obviously) generally much cheaper than new, but it can also provide you some really interesting pieces you wouldn’t find in a standard showroom. Here’s what to look out for before you hit the yard sales, though.

Tag? Label? Engraving?

Second Hand Wooden Table

You would be surprised at how often people selling used furniture don’t know what they’re marking down to $10. Look over all the undersides and backsides for original tags, brand labels, or engravings that show manufacturers and dates, and follow up with some research if you find something.

Rule of thumb: if it’s a person’s name you’ve never heard of or any combinations of two names with “&” in the middle, that’s probably a good sign.

Try Before You Buy

The old sales adage holds especially true for buying second hand furniture. Depending on your level of craftiness or budget for restoring old pieces, you could be looking at more work to fix something up than you’re willing to put in. Check for lumpy cushions, unstable weight support, and excessive shakiness or creaking.

Give It a Smell

Cat on a Couch

That’s right – never buy it before you smell it. Even if you’re planning to reupholster a piece, you could be buying cushions or even wood with deep-soaked scents, which can be extremely difficult to get out.

Keep Measurements Handy

Before you even start shopping, be sure to keep a list written down of the maximum measurements you can work with. You don’t want to be stuck with an incredible sofa that mysteriously takes up half of your living room. Everything seems to magically look smaller before you bring it home.

Photo Credits (from top): DIY Life, ONEHOWTO, and Luxury Brand Custom Wood

The Most Essential Tip for Renovating Wooden Furniture

Finished Wooden Table

If you’re looking to get into furniture restoration as a hobbyist or general DIY-er, the process can probably seem intimidating if you don’t have any carpentry experience. But sometimes the quickest touch-ups can be the most useful – which is the case with this week’s #renewit tip!

Un-finishing and Refinishing Wooden Furniture

Unfinished Wooden Furniture

Oftentimes old, salvaged, or thrifted furniture can be structurally sound but just in need of some cosmetic fixes. If you’ve got some wooden furniture for renovating, a quick trip to the hardware store, a little effort, and some patience could be all it takes.

Start by taking the piece outdoors (preferably somewhere covered) and using a wood stripper (which you can find in any hardware store), being sure to wear rubber gloves and keep from inhaling any of it.

With a putty knife or similar tool (if you’ve got one around already), scratch off the old finish until you get down to the duller, porous natural wood beneath – and then wait for it to dry.

Refinish Wooden Furniture

Once it’s dry, use a fine, high-grain sandpaper to smooth it out and prepare the surface for refinishing. From there, the rest is up to you: whether you want a simple protective finish, a rich stain, shellac, or other finish, the final look is totally up to you. Just like that, you’ve mastered one of the most useful, simple skills for renovating wooden furniture!

Photo Credits (from top): Milch House, DecorAdventures, and Yellowpages

A Designer’s Start-to-Finish Restoration Techniques

When designing a space, we always have to start from the very beginning: its concept. This is just as important in restoration, so we take into account aspects like color, design concept, overall trend, and the final look we want to give the item.

Once we take all this into consideration and have a vision in mind, we start the restoration by sanding the piece using increasingly soft sandpaper to remove the layer of lacquer, exposing the porous base so it can better absorb a new layer of paint. However, we must be careful not to remove or damage the original color if we’re not planning to change it.

Once we have the surface painted, we let it dry completely, which may take about 3 or 4 hours depending on the materials we’re using. We like to blend the paint for a more fluid transition with the old paint, and have to consider how over time – especially if this is an outdoor piece – the brightness of the lacquer will dull.

In terms of color, vintage style tends to take bright, striking colors and contrast them with black and white fixtures with bright finishes.

Writing Credits: Juan Martinez (Interior Designer)
Photo Credits (from top): The Bella Cottage, Hudson Goods, and Deccoración

An Inside Look at Furniture Restoration

Restored TV Stand
When you’re restoring furniture for decoration, you have to be able to look past the pieces themselves. You have to consider what furniture to use for a room specifically, and forget your own individual opinions and ideals for aesthetics of room design to think about the bigger picture that piece is going to fit into.

It all boils down to the unique characteristics of the thing you’re working with, keeping in mind its limitations and possibilities. You’ve also got to keep functionality in mind – you don’t want to rework something so heavily that it loses integrity just so you can force it to be something it shouldn’t be. The above redesigned modern TV stand, for instance, kept all its functionality while still reaching a fresh, contemporary look.

Restored Dresser

For this one we thought carefully about the color and texture. We wanted something clean and fresh, so we went with a stark black/white contrast. With the color scheme in place, we played with the texture, using a glossy matte finish.

Remember that you usually don’t want a look to be too one-dimensional or stark. You want to preserve the original value of what you’re restoring while updating it to fit a more desirable trend while also increasing the overall beauty of it. It’s a give and take, updating furniture while also staying true to its originality.

Writing Credits: Juan Martinez (Interior Designer)

Three Tips For Finding The Right Furniture Restoration Professional


Restoring aged furnіturе to іtѕ fоrmеr glory days соuld be аn expensive process, but it’s also the bеѕt wау tо kеер іtѕ vаluе іntасt. If you’ve owned a furnіturе piece for gеnеrаtіоnѕ, уоu may even think of it аѕ a family member. Below are three useful tips that will assist you when hiring a furniture restoration professional.

Have A Budget In Mind
Be sure to have a budget in mind when speaking with a professional. Remember, full furniture restoration has grеаtеr risks and expenses can quickly add up.

Ask the Right Questions
To determine a professional’s experience, find out how long they have been in the industry. Do they have experience in working with similar projects? Are they receptive to feedback from their customers?

Request Professional References
When choosing a restoration professional, ask if they have references you can contact. By doing so, you can verify that the restoration professional actually possesses the expertise you are looking for.