Oak furniture can last a really long time when taken care of. It is sturdy and timeless, but sometimes, it can end up not matching your overall aesthetic. If you’ve got a beloved piece of oak furniture that needs updating to fit your new look, then there are a few things that you can do.
Painting oak furniture
The simplest, and most obvious way to update oak furniture is to paint it. You can paint oak kitchen cabinets, oak tables, pretty much any kind of oak furniture. If you’re looking to update oak bedroom furniture, then painting the furniture is an easy solution.
How to paint oak furniture
To give your oak furniture a splash of colour, you will need:
- Paint stripper for wood
- Grease remover
- Wood glue
- A clamp
- Epoxy or wood filler
- Wood primer
- Wood paint
Step one: clean the furniture
The first step in painting oak furniture, as with anything, is to clean it. You need to do this before you begin painting oak furniture in order to be able to create a smooth finish. Use a grease remover to make sure that the wood is completely free of dirt.
Step two: prepare the oak furniture
You then need to remove any old paint and prepare the wood. If the oak furniture has not been painted, then this will simply involve sanding the wood.
To remove the paint or varnish you will need to use a paint stripper or varnish stripper, and then you will need to use light sandpaper to sand the surface lightly. Once sanded, dust the oak furniture to remove any particulates or dust left over.
Step three: repair the wood where necessary
If your oak bedroom furniture has any cracks or holes, it will need repairing before you can begin painting. This also includes major repairs like replacing a leg. It is best to do the major repairs first, replace anything that needs replacing and use the clamp to hold things together while they set.
Then, fix small nicks and cracks by using a wood filler to fill the dents. Leave the filler to dry. Once completely dry, sand the surface again to smooth it down.
Step four: apply primer
Primer is an essential part of the painting process, especially on oak. You should paint the primer onto the surface and leave it to dry. Once it is bone dry, you should use sandpaper to scuff the surface slightly to make sure that the paint will stick to the furniture.
Step five: apply paint
Once the primer is dry and scuffed, you can start to apply the paint. You can use oil based or latex based paint for oak furniture upcycling, either will last well on the surface of the furniture. Once one coat is applied, leave it to dry before adding more paint. You can choose to scuff the paint in between. Continue as needed until the colour is right.
Step six: top coat
You can then apply a top coat to the furniture to protect the paint and the piece of furniture. You can get top coats to meet all sorts of needs.
Oak furniture upcycling
Alternatively, if you want to do more than simply give your oak furniture a splash of paint, why not give it a new lease of life by completely upcycling the piece of furniture? There are a few things that you can do to oak furniture to update it, like:
Using wallpaper or vinyl decals
For more than a block colour, you can use wallpaper or vinyl stickers to attach to the oak furniture. This will make a huge difference to your furniture and to the room. Apply it to the fronts of your dresser drawers, or the backs of shelves, and add a splash of something interesting to the room.
You could even use contrasting patterns, if you wanted to really bring a new lease of life to an oak piece.
Change door knobs and handles
Sometimes, oak furniture will come with door knobs and handles that can be quite outdated or boring. It can be off putting, especially when the rest of the oak furniture is incredibly stylish and beautiful.
One quick way to update a piece of oak furniture is to simply swap these out! You can find antique door knobs and handles online, or you can craft your own if you’re feeling particularly crafty. If you keep the old ones, you might be able to find a project for them in the future.
With most wood, you can stain the oak to dye it a slightly different wooden colour. With bedroom furniture, this is a great way to update the piece without having to do very much to it!
Why upcycle oak furniture?
If you’ve got a piece of oak furniture and you were just thinking of getting rid of it, you might be wondering what point there is in redecorating it. After all, you could just sell it for scrap or on eBay and buy yourself something new, right?
Technically, you’re not wrong. However, by upcycling furniture you can keep your habits a bit more ethical and sustainable, and you might even be able to make the piece into something you love. If not, though, upcycled wood furniture, especially oak, sells for quite a lot! If you’re hoping to flog the furniture for some new stuff, upcycling it first will help you to hit a niche audience who are willing to pay more for the work that you’ve put in.