Rediscover the original beauty of mid-century furniture! – by Better Homes and Gardens
Nothing beats filling your home with vintage pieces and secondhand finds that you can treasure for years to come.
While there are some things you should never buy second-hand, picking up furniture finds will save on money and reduce waste.
If you’ve found the mid-century furniture item of your retro dreams, then rediscover the original beauty of the piece with this simple revamp.
Tip! If your piece is coated in a layer of grime, you may wish to rub over the piece with fine steel wool drenched with methylated spirits. When you’re done, immediately wipe away excess metho with a clean dry cloth. Let dry before continuing.
After: The timeless lines of a Parker furniture coffee table – beautifully restored by you – are at home with contemporary furnishings and artwork, Chris Jones
Gather your supplies
- Coffee table of mid‑century design (here, made by Parker Furniture)
- 400-grit sandpaper
- 00 fine-grade steel wool
- Danish oil (try Feast Watson Scandinavian Oil)
You’ll also need
Drop sheet; clean dry cloths (2); screwdriver; cork sanding block; flat stirrer
Lay out drop sheet in your work area. Place table upside-down on drop sheet. Using screwdriver, unscrew tabletop from leg frame. Place screws (and any extra fittings) in a safe spot for later.
Fold and tear a strip of sandpaper to suit width of sanding block. Wrap paper around block.
Lightly rub over surfaces of tabletop with sandpaper using long even strokes. Make sure you rub in direction of grain (never rub across grain) and take care not to dig into the veneer. Brush away dust.
Using steel wool, rub over leg frame of table. Again, rub in direction of grain. Brush away dust.
Reattach tabletop to leg frame, using screws (and any extra fittings) reserved in Step 1.
Stir oil with flat stirrer. To apply oil to timber, dampen a fresh piece of steel wool with oil and work it into underside of tabletop and leg frame. Rub oil in direction of grain. Turn table over and apply oil to tabletop.
Allow oil to penetrate timber for 30 minutes. When surface gets tacky, remove excess oil with clean dry cloth.
After: The surface of the table is richly-coloured and rejuvenated
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