How to Restore Wood Furniture (No Power Tools)

3 Materials
2 Hours

We recently inherited a 1930's Lane Cedar Chest with beautiful Tiger Wood accents. Due to its age, it was full of dings and scratches. My husband and I have always loved the character of old wood, so we wanted to maintain that and avoid sanding this piece if possible. I found a couple great products to try that far exceeding my expectations. Let me show how easy it is to restore old, worn wood with NO power tools!


Here is what we started with. As you can see there are a ton of scratches and the feet are in rough shape. Unfortunately, even the beautiful tiger wood accent was scratched up.

To restore wood furniture (with no power tools) you'll need Howard Restor-A-Finish, Howard Feed-N-Wax and paper towels or rags.

The first product you're going to use is Howard Restor-A-Finish. You want to avoid pouring the product directly onto the piece, so pour a small amount into a separate container. Take a clean rag and dip it into the product.

Wipe the product on following the wood grain. You will want a thin, even coat.

Once your entire piece is evenly coated with Howard Restor-A-Finish allow it so dry for approximately 20 minutes.

Once you've waited the appropriate amount of time, it's time to make your piece really shine. To apply Howard Feed-N-Wax you will need another clean rag. Squeeze a nickel sized amount onto your rag and wipe it onto your piece following the wood grain. Be sure to do even coats saturating the entire piece.

Once the piece is covered wait approximately 30 minutes for the product to absorb. Once the product is absorbed use another clean rag to buff the product using circular motions.


And you're done! I cannot believe how easy this process was and how absolutely stunning this piece turned out.

While I love using power tools to build, refinish and create, it is nice to be able to restore pieces without a ton of work. I hope you enjoyed this project and feel inspired to try these products on your wood pieces.

Suggested materials:

  • Rags
  • Howard Feed-N-Wax   (Home Depot)
  • Howard Restor-A-Finish   (Home Depot)

Frequently asked questions

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Join the conversation

  • Teresa Teresa on Jun 22, 2021

    Great piece of furniture, you made it shine! I have been toying with this idea for a while on a 1930's bedroom suite I have. Although I have chosen to go a different route (going to sand completely and stain with nutmeg and hemp oil- because the furniture is Mahogany, and I am so over the red wood), I am glad to see that the beauty of the piece can come out with everyday products and a little elbow grease. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  • William William on Jun 22, 2021

    Looks great! I have used stain and gel stain and have had similar results. Restor a Finish and Formby's both are good products. Recently Minwax bought Formby's. I mainly use Minwax products.