2 tricks to spruce up old furniture

June 30, 2015

If your favourite old pieces of furniture are starting to look worse for wear, don't worry. From tiled table tops to disguising nicks, here are a couple of tricks to spruce them up so they can stick around for a bit longer.

2 tricks to spruce up old furniture

Tile an old tabletop

A battered and bruised wooden coffee table or small side table can become a canvas for tiles, even if you're a beginner. You'll need tiles, which may be saved from a renovation project or purchased from a tile or home store — look for sales. Here's how to do it.

  1. Measure the tabletop to determine how many tiles you need. If you're careful with your measurements and buy tiles of the right size, you can probably cover the entire top without making any tile cuts. Keep in mind that you must leave approximately three to six millimetres (0.125 to 0.25 inch) of space between tiles for grouting.
  2. Sand the tabletop and clean off the dust. (If you want to refinish or paint your table, do so before sanding.)
  3. Next, lay out the tiles on the tabletop in your pattern of choice and make any changes and adjustments.
  4. Affix the tiles with tiling adhesive or white glue. (If using glue, be sure it's dry before grouting.)
  5. Grout the tiles with commercial grout, which is available in many colours. As you work, wipe off excess grout with a damp sponge.
  6. To remove any remaining grout film, wash again with water after the grout has dried.

Cover up nicks

If your treasured coffee table or antique desk has its fair share of small nicks, don't despair. Here's a few handy tricks to take care of the problem.

  • If the nick is shallow: Colour it with a similar-hued indelible marker.
  • If the nick is deep, but still superficial: Soften a small amount of white candle wax and using a small butter spreader, massage it into the gash. Wait for it to harden, and then colour it with the right-colored marker.
  • If the nick is any deeper: This is when you should call on a professional to help.

So now you don't have to get rid of that tired-looking piece of furniture in the living room. Turn it into an interesting conversation piece and earn bragging rights to say you did it yourself!

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