A few years ago, I discovered a product for reviving worn wood that I can't believe I didn't know about sooner. It took the recommendations of two different vintage furniture dealers before I tried it, but now it's an essential step for fixing up any tired-looking wood furniture that comes into my house. Best of all, this miracle-in-a-can is affordable, easy to find, and easy to use. Read on if you're ready to give it a try (or let my "after" photos of the chair above convince you if you think it sounds too good to be true!).
Recently I inherited this dreamy mid-century modern rocking chair from my grandparents. I think they originally bought it new in the '50s, but since the '90s it has been living in the Arizona desert. As you can see, the hot, dry air left the wood parched - and the upholstery could also do with a deep cleaning after living with my grandmother's golden retriever. The wood looks gorgeous now, though!
What's the trick? Introducing Howard Restor-A-Finish, the best thing to happen to vintage wood furniture since...ever.
Best part: it's crazy easy to use. I just applied a coat with a cotton pad, then wiped the excess off with a rag. That was it! Before using the Restor-A-Finish on the wood, I first tried conventional furniture polish. It temporarily revived the wood, but the fix wore off within weeks. It's been six months, and the wood on this chair looks just as good as it does here.
Restor-A-Finish comes in various wood colors, but since I had bought my bottle for a different project that didn't match any of the available colors, I used "neutral." For diminishing scratches, I imagine that it works best in a color that corresponds to the wood type, but even when using the neutral color on the walnut-veneer dresser above, it made a huge positive difference. For the scratched-up dresser above, I applied the product with super fine steel wool as directed on the back of the can.
So the next time you're tempted by lightly scratched and worn vintage wood furniture, don't dismiss it as beyond saving. You may be able to bring it back from the brink with a tiny bit of elbow grease!