Use wax to restore furniture--when you just CAN'T bear the thought of all that stripping, sanding, restaining, finishing... Furniture Repair, Old Furniture, Wood Furniture, Minerals Spirit, Clean, The Families Handyman, Tips, Woodworking Furniture, Wood Finishing
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This is actually a really excellent guide on restoring old furniture. How to Refinish Furniture Without Stripping
Wood Finishing Tips: How to Renew a Finish - Traditional paste wax is still the best way to renew and enhance natural wood finishes, and it will hold up better than liquid furniture polish. All you need for application is an old t-shirt and plenty of elbow grease.
How to Refinish Furniture~ "Learn how to refinish furniture faster and easier by avoiding stripping. A seasoned pro tells you how to clean, repair and restore old worn finishes without messy chemical strippers."
If you need your paint job to be durable, go with polycrylic. Polycrylic is great because it's durable like Polyurethane, but it doesn't yellow over time and it's really low-odor. To apply your polycrylic, just brush it on with a high quality paint brush. I did 2 coats, allowing it to dry for several hours in between.
DIY barnyard wood. Beat up new wood if desired, then add Olympic brand Weathered Barnboard stain. Don't wipe off, leave til dry. (15 min). Dry brush primer lightly over top. Dry brush flat gray paint sporadically over top. Add a little black in paint and repeat. lightly sand. Coat with stain once more, seal and done!