How To Restore Wooden Furniture

As you know, we love grabbing a bargain and there’s nothing better than finding a great piece of furniture or fabulous piece of art at a knock down price.

How To Restore Wooden Furniture

The only problem with picking up pieces at these kinds of places, is that they’re usually not in the best of condition. They’re always dirty, they’re usually scratched or dented and in general are in need of a bit of TLC.

You’ve probably already seen the little cupboard in our guest bedroom that we found at our local antique/ reclamation shop.

How To Restore Wooden Furniture

It’s been in the bedroom for about a year now, but we have a bit of a confession to make. Except for a quick clean, we haven’t really bothered to repair and restore it.

Whilst it looks fine from a distance (and it isn’t really in an awful condition), it is a bit scratched and could just do with a general tidy up.

How To Restore Wooden Furniture

Having purchased more than our fair share of used furniture, we’ve developed a go to method of refreshing the pieces before they make it into our home and, unless we buy something with the purpose of taking it to pieces, we usually pick things that are in a fairly good condition, which obviously makes our “restoration” work much easier.

The 3-Step process

#1 Clean, clean & clean

For us, the most important step before starting to work on anything, is to give it a really good clean. When we know that we’ll be painting the furniture, we always use sugar soap. In this case, as we’re keeping the natural wooden finish, we used natural soap for wood (like this one) which is much more gentile to the wood.

How To Restore Wooden Furniture

Just wipe down your furniture with your cleaner and some water. It should be patted dry straight away to reduce the risk of any water marks. You also shouldn’t use microfiber cloths – because of their structure they can leave little scratches in the surface.

It’s probably also worth mentioning that sugar soap is really gritty, so can damage delicate surfaces. If you’re concerned, try it out on a test area first.

#2 Repair

If there are any scratches or dents, these need to be repaired before polishing and treating the surface. Any small dents can be removed by using the same method we used to remove the dents in our floor.

How To Restore Wooden Furniture

Small scratches can be polished away with a polish that’s specific to that type of wood. You shouldn’t polish it too often (less than once a year) as the polish will create a film on the surface of the furniture that will become greasy and attract dust.

Alternatively you can use shoe cream in a matching colour or, when treating light furniture, even use Vaseline.

 #3 Rejuvenate, feed & polish

After carrying out any repairs, it’s time to refresh the furniture. Old wooden furniture that hasn’t been taken care of can be quite dry and really thirsty. How to treat the furniture will depend on the type of wood and how it’s been treated in the past (varnished, oiled, waxed, etc.).

How To Restore Wooden Furniture

Because of the quick and refreshed look that polishes can achieve, they are a popular choice, but are something you should be wary of using. You should also avoid polishes with silicon oils or other mineral oils, as these penetrate the wood and can’t be removed, therefore making any future surface restorations impossible. You should also only use products that are specifically designed for your type of wood. Otherwise, if you’re working on a proper antique, you could do more harm than good!

How To Restore Wooden Furniture

We decided to use a wood oil to treat the cupboard. Oil is great, as it penetrates the wood and permanently protects the surface from dirt and moisture. Oil is also great, as it doesn’t close the pores of the wood which means that it can still breathe.

Considering the little cupboard (it’s actually a record cupboard) didn’t look too bad to start with, we were really surprised at what a massive difference a bit of cleaning and polishing made.

How To Restore Wooden Furniture

It’s hard to capture how big difference it actually is. The colour of the wood has changed slightly and is much more vibrant than before. The natural texture and grain of the wood is also much more visible now.

How To Restore Wooden Furniture

Do you love to shop at flea markets and antique fairs, too? Have you recently restored a piece of furniture?

Lighting The Way

Last week when we shared our new look dining room and kitchen with you, you may have also noticed a new little addition to the room.

We have light! Brooklyn Floor Lamp

It may sound weird to get so excited about having a new lamp, but having not had proper light in the room for a while, makes you really appreciate the ease of just flicking a switch and instantly being able to see what you’re doing! Brooklyn Floor Lamp

We’ve always loved the classic Anglepoise lamp, but at around £2000 for the giant version, it’s just way out of budget. This beauty on the other hand is the Brooklyn giant floor lamp from (it’s also available in silver and black) and at only £99 an absolute bargain.

The base is really heavy, so the lamp stays really stable even when adjusting it and it is perfect lighting for cuddling up on the sofa and reading a book or writing our next blog posts. Brooklyn Floor Lamp

Unlike the classic Anglepoise where you can swivel the head in all directions, on this lamp you can only swivel up and down. Whilst it would be great to be able to swivel it all around, it’s really not a major issue and considering it’s about £1900 cheaper than its counterpart, it’s definitely a feature that we’re happy to skip. Brooklyn Floor Lamp

With all of the building work and most of our budget always being spent on really unexciting jobs like plastering, plumbing and roofing, it’s really to be able to treat ourselves to something fun and pretty for a change.

Do you love our new lamp as much as we do? Have you treated yourself to anything pretty lately?

*We weren’t compensated for this review, we just truly love this lamp! On the rare occasions that we do share a product review we always post our honest opinions.

The Results Are In!

A few weeks ago, we held our very first reader survey. Thank you so much to everyone that took part! It was so much fun reading your answers and advice and we hope to be able to improve a few things in our virtual home.

Survey Results

Thanks again so much for taking part!

Great Giveaway: £50 Homebase Voucher with Kinetico

We all know about the problems that a limescale build up can cause in dishwashers, washing machines, kettles and other appliances. Limescale also causes taps and showers to get clogged up and reduces the efficiency of your boiler and heating system.

But did you know that there’s an easy way to have luxuriously soft water by using a water softener that is designed to take out the calcium and magnesium (limescale) from hard water?


The water softeners by Kinetico use a process called ‘ion exchange’, which is the only proven method to totally remove the minerals from the water that cause limescale. All you do is attach the water softener to your stop cock and it ensures that all water throughout your house is soft! These filters make the water softer and reduce the build-up of limescale and can therefore make your appliances last longer and run more efficiently.

Another fantastic sounding product is the water filtration system which is designed to take out the ‘impurities’ from your drinking water. Kinetico has a range of filtration systems that take out different levels of impurities from your water such as pesticides, chlorine and lead, sediment and many more. The filtration systems provides purer water than bottled and jug filters!

Less cleaning, better water, longer lasting appliances surely has got to be a good thing!


The kind people over at Kinetico are offering one lucky reader a £50 voucher to spend at Homebase.

How To Enter:

It couldn’t be easier to enter this fabulous giveaway. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. In all, you have 3 possible entry options and you can enter in as many ways as you’d like to increase your chances of winning!

You could tweet:

I would like to win a £50 Homebase Voucher thanks to @KineticoUKltd with @ILiveAtNumber13

Alternatively you could like Kinetico on Facebook or like Little House On The Corner on Facebook or of course use all 3 options to increase your chances of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is available to UK residents only and runs from 5th August to 19th August, 12am GMT. The winner will be notified in this post and by email. Good luck and happy entering!

Inspired By…

In our first anniversary survey that we shared last month (we’ll be sharing all results soon) lots of you mentioned, that you’d like to know more about our design development, the thought process behind some of our decisions and you’d also like to see more personal stuff.

Having thought about how best to share all of that with you, we’re excited to be starting a new little series here on Little House On The Corner. Every now and then, we’ll be sharing some of the posts and blogs from all around the web that motivate, uplift and inspire us, as well as sharing a few projects sneak peeks, bits of gossip and behind the scenes chaos with you.

With so many fantastic bloggers, creative posts and beautiful images around there are more than a few to choose from!

Behind The Scenes

1. I guess my boots could do with a good clean after doing all of the painting in our recent kitchen & dining makeover.
2. We’re busy working on a holiday photo album of our recent trip to Las Vegas. With so many amazing memories and pictures to choose from, it’s not an easy task!
3. Yep, we’re still working on planning our garage roof. It’s definitely more difficult than we’d imagined. Hopefully all of the planning and organizing will make the actual building process a bit easier.
4. On the first Sunday of each month, we’ve got into the habit of treating ourselves to some delicious macaroons from our local market. After all it’s nice to have a break from DIY every now and then!

Eating Macaroons

These are a few of the things that are inspiring us this week!

  • I’m loving these tips for working from home
  • I’ve been pretty much obsessed with these ever since they popped up in my Instagram feed!
  • Are you a blogger? Is this something you get asked about all the time, too? (It’s in German, so you’ll probably have to use Google translate, or of course just learn German)
  • We’re totally obsessed with this amazing piece of art. Such an amazing idea that we’ve just got to try!
  • Really inspired by this great post on fearless decorating – think it’s about time we started being a bit more adventuous, don’t you?

What were you up to this weekend? What’s inspired you lately?

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