Monday, June 24

Restoring Old Wood... or Maybe Not?

**UPDATE - So... it turns out there's a good reason to not do this. Definitely check out the first comment before you try this on your own furniture!**

My new end table is finally all settled in. Which basically means I moved it to another part of the house and I like it. :) But before I moved it I was still trying to decide if I liked the old finish or not (thanks for the great advice you guys!). So I decided to try restoring just the back side. That way I could see if I liked it better, but could hide it if I didn't.

I tested a trick I found on Facebook and combined 3 parts vegetable oil with 1 part vinegar and rubbed it into the wood with a paper towel. I was definitely skeptical... but it actually worked! See the difference?

I also tried it on the leg, which was in even worse shape. 

Can I get a wowza?!

So I restored the back side and stepped back to take a look at it. And you guys were totally right. The original finish is so much more charming. So I left the rest of it alone and moved it to its new home...

In our master suite!

It's really perfect there just as it is.

 And B still stashes stuff in the drawer every chance he gets. :)

So if you want an easy and natural way to restore wood, you can try the oil & vinegar trick. But if you don't want to restore it, that's totally fine too. :)


  1. I understand the attraction of using stuff you have around the house that smells a bit better than mineral spirits. And it's "chemical free", right? I mean it's salad dressing, right?

    The problem with using vegetable oil is this: You know what it does to the shelf in the pantry? It does the same thing on furniture.

    It has the wrong chemistry - it's a non-drying or very slow-drying oil. It becomes sticky and stays that way for a long time. That means dirt and dust sticks to it as it slowly hardens into even more crud.

    And you end up having to use the nasty "chemical" stuff because you used wrong chemical the first time.

    1. Ahhhh, wish I'd thought of that. Bummer! Well, I'm glad I only did the back. :-/ Thanks for commenting!