In 207 Ikea sold over 38.3 billion worth of products. The majority of these items are flat packed. You might not think they have finishes which need to be restored or protected but every piece of furniture is valuable and can be carefully and lovingly restored if needed.
Of course, the first image that will pop into your head when you hear the words ‘french polishing’ or furniture finishes, will probably be an ancient bureau or similar.
The truth is most finishes can be restored in the same way, as per the tips below.
However, it is important to test your finish first. Always use a small amount of the product in an area that is not easily visible. This will ensure it improves the finish and doesn’t destroy it.
This is best if your product has dried out but is not really damaged. The paste wax can restore the moisture to the outer layer and create a fantastic original finish.
To apply you simply need to purchase some paste wax and then rub it gently across your furniture. You must use a clean dry cloth and buff in a circular motion. The harder you buff the deeper the paste will go and the better the shine will be.
Once you have applied the paste wax you should wait five minutes before using a different clean cloth to buff it off. Final buffing should be done in smooth strokes, running in the same direction as the grain.
Just remember, this will create a natural-looking finish, not a high shine one.
Restoring your existing pieces of furniture is always a great idea. But if you’re looking for additional pieces to restore there are a number of places you can look. Second hand furniture stores are one place as well as flea markets. I’ve found vintage auction houses such as Abbeys are a great place to find quality used furniture ideal for restoration.
This is the best choice when you are dealing with an item that is looking very tired but is not damaged. It is worth noting that tung oil has a potent aroma and you are best to use it in a well-ventilated area.
This is a light oil which will soak well into any wooden surface. Simply rub the oil into the surface with a clean rag or you can use an applicator pad. It is possible that some oil will run over the edges so it is advisable to keep sheets around it to protect your surfaces.
Let the oil soak in for approximately 5 minutes and then gently wipe it over with a clean rag. It will restore the finish and give it more of a shine than the paste wax.
This is the best approach for genuine antiques but it can work well on any item. However, you must be aware that this will remove the top layer of the original finish so it should only be used when your item is already damaged.
Lubricated sandpaper means using some oil, such as lemon oil and applying it to a piece of fine grade sandpaper. Then add some oil to the surface of what you are standing and gently start sanding.
You are not aiming to remove much; the dead outer layer should sand away to reveal a fresh layer of undamaged wood. The oil can be wiped away after but it will help to prevent taking too much wood off while adding a layer of protection to the new finish.