How To: Make Your Wood Furniture Look Nice Without Refinishing!

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Posted 05 May 2013 in Soulville

Do you have a piece of wood furniture, say a table or a chair, that looks dull or has been sitting in storage so long it has lost its luster? If you’re a big fan of wood in your office area or even your living room while you code your new blog or go on a video game binge but have no interest in taking shop class, this how to can help you!

I started with a chair that has been in storage for almost 20 years. It was my grandfather’s office chair and we didn’t want to take away the love that was on it by sanding it and starting from scratch. That is an option if you want to give your furniture a totally new finish. A lot more work than this quick solution but totally worth it if you want to control the total look. There are plenty of how-to’s on that topic but we won’t get into it. This is perhaps the simplest thing you can do – use wood cleaner!

1) First, I wiped the chair down with a soft cloth to remove spiderwebs, dust, and any surface dirt.

2) Because the furniture was so pale looking and looked like it needed a 20 year shine, I mixed 1/2 cup of Murphy Pure Vegetable Oil soap (Original) and a gallon of hot tap water. As a note, I followed the directions on the bottle. Next time, I’m going to do some conversions because that is WAAAAAAAY more than is needed for this project. Could have gotten away with an 8th of this and probably still had more than enough for another piece. If you have hardwood floors though, go right ahead and make this much then do your floors!

3) I took a new soft cloth and made it really damp with the solution and just started wiping. You see an instant difference. I went over the furniture 3 or 4 times. Don’t be afraid to scrub! I could see dirt on the cloth so it really was cool to visually see what this product could do. In the photo you can see what it looks like damp. It stayed that way when it dried.

4) I let the piece dry so I could see if I needed to go over it again but I didn’t. If you find when you’re done that it still looks really dull, you probably want to refinish it to make it look nicer than it does at present.

In the end, this was a much simpler solution than trying to find some gimmick solution or refinishing my furniture. While sanding and painting furniture is something I’m working on for a different project (hopefully featured late summer on the blog!), it wasn’t the best solution here so you could see the character of the piece.

Have you tried something like this before? How’d it turn out? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. The tips are really awesome. Your Post has covered all the things that one needs at the time of home decoration. Thank you for providing the information this will help us manage all the things easily. This information is really very impressive.

  2. I am so grateful to read your stories which was so informative and I think it will be helpful for ours.