Refurbishing pre-loved wooden auction furniture

Every day we’re seeing some beautiful pieces of furniture pass through the auctions at UK Auctioneers. Some may initially look a little unloved, or in need of some serious TLC but there really are some gems in the making up for grabs at low prices if you’re willing to put in the effort to refurbish them.

Take this continental style mahogany chest of drawers that is currently listed in the upcoming P.F. Windibank auction this Saturday, for example;


This particular chest of drawers has a current estimated price of £50 – 80. The drawers on the surface are clearly in need of new handles and perhaps the removal of the top layer or two if nothing else. The potential on a piece like this is amazing; renew the wood and bring it back to its previous glory? Chalk paint for a shabby chic look? Or sand down and paint with a stencil design for a more modern piece; the options are simply endless! With the time and the right equipment, you can re-create any of these following looks for a fraction of their high street prices:

Furniture Market – French Hardwood Mahogany Stained – £319.00

French Hardwood Mahogany Stained 2 over 2 Drawer Chest

John Lewis & Partners – St Ives 4 Drawer Chest – £650.00

Artisanti – Moroccan Style Geometric Chest – £1,573

So why not take a gamble on a pre-loved gem in the making and get your creative juices flowing!

Our Top Tips for re-furbishing wooden furniture:

  • Acetone and wire wool can work just as well (if not better) than a sander or sandpaper
  • Don’t let preparation scare you, not all furniture needs the top layers taking off, sometimes a lick of paint is all that is needed.
  • Chalk paint (See Anne Sloan) is perfect for reducing preparation time and achieving a distressed, shabby chic look.
  • Spray guns work a treat for easy application of your protective top coat if you’re having one.
  • Do your research! Different materials require different approaches.
  • Check out Pinterest for inspiration.
  • Ventilation, ventilation, ventilation! May sound obvious, but when sanding and using chemicals, ventilation is essential for your health and your home! If the weathers good enough, go outside and make the most of it.
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