How to change color of wood furniture: Things to consider

This project focuses on using wood to create or refurbish vintage wooden furniture.

Sanding the wood is recommended before starting any work on it, and using different grit sandpapers can result in a smoother finish.

Questions have been received on how to change the color, protect, and clean the wood, so we write information on these topics.

What is a Protective Barrier for Wooden Surfaces?

When working with raw wood, which hasn’t been treated, it’s important to start by sanding it down. But after that, the next step is to give it a good coat of protective bottom. Think of it as insurance for your wood.

It’s common for wood to get damaged quickly due to temperature, humidity, and sun exposure changes, leading to warping, cracking, or discoloration. But a protective bottom will keep the wood from bending out of shape and protect it from insect damage.

Once it’s dry, the sky’s the limit! You can give it any finish you want. In this video tutorial, we’ll show you how to change the color of your wood to give it an aged look and create a custom wooden bench that’s truly unique.

So, what exactly is a protective bottom? Simply put, it’s a coat of product you apply to your raw wood to protect it from harm. Trust us, it’s worth the extra step. You don’t want your beautiful wood project to go to waste because of a little moisture or insect damage.

What are the Options for an Outdated Wooden Furniture Piece?

The answer depends on the look you’re going for. If you want to show off the wood’s natural grain, that’s one thing. But if you want to give it a fresh coat of paint, that’s another story.

One thing that always works, no matter what route you take, is a good deep cleaning. When in doubt, the first step should always be to clean the furniture. But how do you clean wood furniture? There are different methods, depending on the condition of the piece.

For example, if the furniture is dusty, you can use a soft cloth to wipe it down. You may need a cleaner specifically designed for wood if it’s dirty or greasy. And if it’s grimy, you may need to sand it down and start from scratch.

The bottom line is that a good cleaning will make all the difference in how your furniture looks and lasts. So, take the time to give it a good scrub before deciding on the next steps.

Cleaning a wooden furniture

Cleaning wooden furniture can be challenging, but it can be done effectively with the right technique. You can use sandpaper to test the furniture’s surface to determine the appropriate method.

If a white powder appears, the furniture has been varnished, and you will need to use a stripper and sandpaper to remove it.

If the sandpaper dulls slightly, it indicates that the furniture has been treated with oil, and a cleaning product designed for removing oils will be necessary.

If the sandpaper is completely dull, there are traces of wax on the surface, and a solvent, such as acetone or a wax remover, will be required to remove it.

For those on a budget, household items like acetone, lemon juice, or vinegar can be used to clean wooden furniture.

Mix equal parts of lemon juice or vinegar with water, apply it to the furniture with a cloth and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off and drying it thoroughly. These tricks can help restore the beauty of your old wooden furniture without breaking the bank.

What products can I use to change the wood color

So, the product choice will depend on the final result you want to achieve and your personal preferences. If you want a more eco-friendly option, go for water-based products. Choose solvent-based products if you need a more durable product with a stronger grip.

However, keep in mind that solvent-based products tend to have a strong odor and can harm your health, so it’s best to use them in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask. Whether you choose water-based or solvent-based products, both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and the final decision is yours!

Products that add a Protective Layer to the Wood and Products that Enhance the Grain

It’s important to note that the choice between these two types of products will depend on the original state of the wood, the desired final result, and the furniture’s intended use.

If we want to keep the original grain visible and enhance it, we can use a stain or a wash, but if we want to cover the grain and give it a new color, enamels or chalk paint may be a better option.

It’s also important to consider the durability and resistance to wear and tear that we want to give to the furniture and choose the appropriate product accordingly.

Easy way to change the color of wood furniture without sanding

Are you tired of your old wooden furniture and looking to give it a fresh coat of paint? Well, you’re lucky because you can now do it without sanding down to the bare wood.

That’s right! You don’t have to break a sweat to transform your furniture into a work of art. Let’s dive into the five easiest methods for painting furniture without sanding:

Mineral Paint

Mineral paint is a game-changer! You won’t have to prime a thing. It’ll stick to just about anything like glue. And the best part? Fusion paints are durable, waterproof, and stain-resistant, and you won’t need a topcoat. Give the piece a light scuff, and you’re good to go. No heavy sanding is needed!

The Chalk Paint Magic

Chalk paint is the secret to painting anything without sanding. It gives a beautiful matte finish, and you don’t have to prep the surface. Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint was the trailblazer of the painted furniture industry, and now several other brands have hit the market and remain popular to this day.

The Milk Paint + Bonding Agent Combo

Mix the bonding agent with milk paint to create a paste, and you’ll have a grip that’ll stick to anything. Use the bonding agent only on the first coat, and you’re done. Easy peasy!

The Power of Bonding Primers

Good quality bonding primers often say, “no sanding necessary,” This product is good for painting furniture without sanding or primer. They’ll stick to just about any shiny surface – glass, metal, tile; you name it.

Brands like Kilz, Fuse, and Zinnser are top-notch for their strong bonding power. They may be a bit pricey, but trust me, it’s worth it when you don’t have to sand.

The Liquid Deglosser Surprise:

You may not have heard of liquid sandpaper or deglossers, but they’re a hidden gem for avoiding sanding furniture.

Apply the liquid directly to the surface, and voila! When you add the new paint, a chemical reaction makes it stick to the old paint.

Just be sure to use it in a well-ventilated area as it has a strong smell. And it’s perfect for furniture details as you can easily apply it with a brush or cloth, and then paint it within the designated time.

Techniques that work to change wood color

Lightening up a dark wood piece of furniture is easy peasy with wood bleach. These products are specially made to remove the natural color from the wood fibers and give it a lighter tone.

But you’ve got to be careful and follow the manufacturer’s instructions like the back of your hand. Otherwise, the bleach might change the final result and weaken the wood.

If you don’t want to go all out with the bleach, you can opt for a light-colored wood stain instead. Pick a light shade you love, and follow the instructions on your chosen product. Just keep in mind that this will also change the color of the wood fibers, but not as dramatically as the bleach.

Also read: Painting over stained wood

And if you’re feeling extra creative, why not try a whitewash? This mixture of water and paint is slathered onto the surface of the wood, letting the grain show through and lightening the overall color. The result is a rustic and natural look that still gives the piece a lighter, updated appearance.

Deep cleaning

Before diving right in, you’ve got to ensure it’s cleaned up. This step is crucial, especially if your furniture is older. You want to know what you’re dealing with, whether there’s a ton of varnish or wax buildup.

To get it sparkling clean, you’ve got a few options. First, you can use a product designed to eliminate grease and grime. Or, you can use a milder approach and mix soap and water. Either way, give it a good rinse with a damp cloth and dry it completely. That way, you’re all set for the bleaching process!

The sanding phase

You’re thinking about sanding down your wooden furniture before you refinish it. That’s a smart move, especially if you want to eliminate dirt, varnish, or paint that won’t budge with a simple cleaning. If you’re dealing with multiple layers of varnish, it might be worth stripping it down with a special product.

Now, for the actual sanding process, an electric sander is your friend. It’ll make things much easier, especially if you’re working on a big piece or multiple pieces. You can pick up a simple model without breaking the bank.

Make sure to use fine-grain sandpaper, so you don’t scratch the wood. Take it slow and steady, dividing the furniture into smaller sections. And don’t forget to wipe it down with a damp cloth once you’re done to get rid of all that sanding dust!

With bleaching products

You’ve got your furniture all cleaned up and sanded down, and now it’s time to lighten up that wood. There are a few ways to do this, but one of the simplest is to use wood bleach.

This chemical product can give the wood a few shades lighter. Remember, it’s only for natural or raw wood, so make sure it’s free of paint, varnish, or wax before you start.

Using a brush, give the wood a good soaking with the bleach and let it dry. The wood furniture’s color changed from dark to light in a few hours. If you want the wood even lighter, repeat the process.

But remember, after the bleaching, the surface will be rough to the touch, so you’ll need to sand it again to make it smooth.

with hydrogen peroxide

let’s talk about another way to lighten up your furniture: using hydrogen peroxide. Just a few things to keep in mind to ensure you get the best results. Firstly, you’ll need to use highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide (110 to 130 volumes). Anything lower, and you won’t get the desired whitening effect.

To boost the hydrogen peroxide, try mixing it with either ammonia (95% hydrogen peroxide, 5% ammonia) or sodium bicarbonate. And when you apply the mixture, make sure to do it as soon as it starts to bubble and while it’s still hot (it will warm up on its own).

Apply the hydrogen peroxide to your cleaned and sanded wood using a cloth. Rub it in vigorously and let it dry. Repeat the process after a couple of hours, then clean the furniture with a cloth soaked in alcohol.

with oxalic acid

Let’s move on to another product that can help lighten your furniture without sanding: oxalic acid. It’s a good option if you’re looking for something less powerful than hydrogen peroxide but still effective. You can dilute it in water or alcohol, and for best results, heat it up before you use it.

One thing to remember when working with oxalic acid is to ensure proper protection. That means gloves, safety glasses, and a mask. This acid can be irritating, so it’s important to take precautions.

Final Thought

there are several ways to lighten your wooden furniture, whether through chemical products like hydrogen peroxide or oxalic acid or physical methods like sanding and cleaning. Each method has its own set of guidelines and best practices to follow, so make sure to read up and follow the instructions carefully.

Regardless of your chosen method, it’s important to remember to take proper safety measures, like wearing gloves, glasses, and a mask when working with chemicals. And always keep in mind the type of wood you’re working with and the condition it’s in, so you can choose the best method for your furniture.

With a little effort and care, you can easily brighten up your wooden furniture and give it a fresh, new look!