How do I redo old furniture?


Best way to redo old handmade pumpkin pine bookcase. Only known finishes are tung oil,pledge or old english polish.Sits under window so some sun bleaching seen.

  13 answers
  • Nan W. Nan W. on Apr 07, 2020

    Mary Ann: here's how I redid a thrift store coffee table!

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Apr 07, 2020

    Hi Mary Ann, to start with a blank slate you can strip it and then sand it back to bare wood or just sand it back to bare wood. Without stripping it first the sanding will take a lot longer and be more labor intensive.

    After that you can stain or paint!

  • If you don't want to sand or strip off the old finish, chalk paint is a great alternative for a new look.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Apr 07, 2020

    To paint, you can scuff with steel wool then clean with denatured alcohol. You will be ready to prime and paint.

    To stain, sand and clean. If you are going lighter you will have to deep sand.

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Apr 07, 2020

    I think this post might help you also:

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Apr 07, 2020

    Hi! Do you want to paint it? Or stain it? The best way is what you like. Prep is your most important step. Good luck and stay safe!

  • Cindy Cindy on Apr 08, 2020

    Hi Mary Ann. You could use a palm sander to remove all top layers and bring it down to bare wood. At that point you could stain or paint it the color of your choice. Good luck Mary Ann.

  • You can sand the surface using an orbital sander and 120 grit sandpaper to remove the old surface. You can add a new stain using the colour you want. Then add some polyurethane to seal the surface.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Apr 08, 2020

    Hello MaryAnn,

    Rub down and re-stain..............

  • Dianacirce70 Dianacirce70 on Apr 08, 2020

    I'd love to see a picture. But you can redo in any manner you like. Give it a light sanding and paint it, rub it down with steel wool and wax it, sand and restain. It just depends on what you hope it will look like when you are done.

  • Deb K Deb K on Apr 08, 2020

    Hey Mary Ann, are you looking to redo to original wood look? Here's how, lightly sand with fine sandpaper, in the direction of the woodgrain to remove the old tung oil (or whatever finish) – and to remove any build up of dirt and grease. Fill any scratches or holes with a wood filler specifically designed for pine ( I would not as it gives the wood character to have a few knocks and dings) – but if you do - it should match the color of your furniture. Re-apply varnish or wax/oil coats according to preference.

    Or you can chalk paint it, which is my fave!! Update it to a beautiful modern color but keeps the antiqueish look with the chalk paint, here's a video how, also, hope you enjoy these suggestions! And remember, have fun with it!!

  • You could sand and stain, or prime and paint! Chalk paint is really popular right now.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Apr 09, 2020

    You first need to remove all those oils. Wash down with TSP and then ammonia. Sand and finish anyway you want. Paint or stain.