We recommend using a wax as it can be applied over previous wax and oil finishes. This removes the need to sand back to bare wood, removing the wood's natural patina. We recommend Jacpol Furniture Wax which has a higher wax content.
The Shabby Chic look can be easily achieved with a wide range of paint types including emulsion paint, clay paint and chalk paint. We supply a range of clay paint products from Earthborn which are ideal and environmentally friendly. Ronseal also offer a Chalky Furniture Paint that is perfect for Shabby Chic projects.
Whilst emulsion paints can be used we recommend chalk or clay paints becuase they are easy to rub down, allowing the wood or coating below the paint to show through.
Before attempting to strip a piece of wood furniture it's important to know what type of finish you are removing. Old coats of wax should be removed using a Wax and Polish Remover, oil finishes can be removed by scrubbing the wood with white spirit whilst layers of paint and varnish will require a paint stripper. See our full range of paint strippers and removers suitable for wooden furniture.
If you are looking to retain the appearance of the wood grain rather than painting it, we recommend using a clear wood oil or varnish. Varnishes tend to offer better durability whereas wood oils are easier to patch repair and maintain if they become stained, scratched or worn. Pine can turn an orange or yellow shade when over-coated with a 'clear' product, there are however oil based products such as Osmo Polyx Oil Raw (3044) and Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural that counteract this and help to retain the freshly sanded or unfinished appearance on light coloured woods.
Knowing what type of wood finish a piece of furniture has may not always be obvious. For example, matt varnish can look like a wax or oil finish whereas a gloss oil or a highly buffed wax finish may look like a varnish.
One simple test is to lightly scrape the surface of the wood with a finger nail or the edge of a coin in an inconspicuous area, such as the underside of a table or chair or near the bottom, inside edge of a leg. If the furniture has been waxed, small traces of the wax will easily come away when scraped.
Another test is to lightly dampen a 'white' cloth with white spirit and gently rub an inconspicuous area. If the furniture has been oiled, the white spirit will remove some of the oil, making it visible on the cloth.
If neither of the above methods remove any finish, it's pretty much safe to say that the furniture has been varnished.
Knowing how to repair surface scratches and gouges on a table top depends on how bad they are and the type of finish on the table i.e. an oil, wax, varnish or paint. If the table top is painted, the best approach is to sand the table top back to bare wood, fill any gouges and deep scratches with a suitable wood filler, re sand the repaired areas for a smooth surface, then re-paint.
For varnished and waxed furniture a range of repair crayons, pens and wax filler sticks can be used to repair or lessen the impact of scratches and gouges. If the damage is particularly bad, the only option may be to sand the table top back to bare wood and re-finish with a clear or coloured interior varnish that is suitable and durable enough for table tops.
Table tops that have been oiled or waxed are by far the easiest to repair. In most cases the table top simply needs a light sanding then re-oiling or waxing to restore the finish once any deeper gouges have been filled. Take care to remove all traces of sanding dust prior to oiling or waxing to prevent dust getting stuck in the finish. To strip a build-up of old wax coatings, a wax and polish remover is more effective than sanding alone.
Unfinished furniture should be treated with a woodworm killer such as Barrettine Premier Woodworm Killer or Ronseal Woodworm Killer. The Furniture can then be treated with a suitable Interior wood preservative to help prevent future infestation.
Furniture that has been painted, waxed, varnished or oiled should be stripped back to bare wood before treating with a woodworm killer. This is to ensure that the woodworm treatment reaches all areas to kill any active woodworm or larvae. The furniture can then treated with an interior wood preservative and then refinished with your choice of wood finish.