Most furniture will experience some fading over time. In part, this is due to age, but sun exposure accelerates this fading. In some cases, this fading can make the furniture more attractive and add to its antique feel. In other cases, the fading goes too far or is uneven, making the piece appear damaged rather than aged.
If you have noticed fading on your furniture and it isn’t the look you want, you do not need to give up on the piece. There are techniques for restoring furniture that has become dull or faded by the sun. While it is a bit intensive—expect to dedicate a weekend to the project—it will deliver the results you want. Below are our simple steps for restoring sun-faded furniture.
Set Up Your Workspace
Anytime you restore a piece of furniture, you need an adequate workspace. Due to the chemicals used in the products you need, you want the space to be well ventilated. However, you also need it to be a clean space so you do not end up with debris getting stuck in your finish, which is as much of a problem as sun-fading. For many, the garage is a suitable space. Use drop cloths to protect items in your workspace.
Clean the Furniture
Much like your workspace, you want the furniture to be clean before you get started. In most cases, a soft cloth that is slightly damp will work just fine. However, if your furniture has built-up dirt, a gentle cleaning agent might be needed. We recommend using a mixture of water and white vinegar at a ratio of 3-to-1. Give the furniture time to dry before moving on.
Strip the Wood
If you are dealing with an antique, you may want to preserve as much of its original finish as possible. However, this is difficult when going DIY. Unless you have experience with furniture restoration, your best bet is to fully strip the wood of the shellac, sealant, paint, and/or stain that is on the wood to ensure consistent results. You can use a chemical agent to strip the wood or you can sand it. The chemical option is easiest.
Inspect for Rough Spots
If you notice any uneven texture on the wood, sand it smooth. You want to make sure everything is even before you move forward, as you will end up having troubles with staining and if you seal the wood, the problem will then be sealed in, forcing you to start all over again.
Select the Stain or Paint You Want and Apply It
Be careful when doing this as you want to make sure you select the correct product for the type of wood. If you are not certain what type of wood you are working with, it is best to consult with a furniture restoration expert. When applying the paint or stain, follow the directions on the package.
Seal the Wood
The last step is to seal the wood. This helps to give it the finished look you want while also protecting it. The sealant you use will depend on the type of wood you are working with and the level of shine you want your furniture to have.
If you do not feel comfortable tackling this project on your own, the team at Rahn’s is here to help. We can restore your sun-bleached furniture quickly and professionally, delivering results that look great while maintaining the history and value of the piece. Contact us today for a free estimate.