I’ve always loved the look of raw wood furniture and the charm of the farmhouse feel. With sandpaper and a little elbow grease, you can turn your antique pieces into a style you can incorporate into your modern farmhouse and preserve the natural beauty without painting. Read on…
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How To Get A Raw Wood Furniture Look
It’s been 38 years since my Mom purchased this for me. I was 16 years old at the time and the furniture bug had already bit me hard. I begged Mom to buy this for me. I’m sure it shocked her that I had even asked. The price tag was $75 (that was a lot of money back then) and I just knew that Mom would say no. To my surprise, she said yes and I was a happy girl. I was the proud owner of my first piece of furniture. Through the years it has followed me from home to home and it has lived in the guest rooms where I knew it would be safe. I’ve always wanted to paint it, but for some reason, it didn’t happen. Now I know why.
- Orbital Sander
- 180 grit sandpaper disks
- Dremel Tool
- Paint Brush (Dixie Belle mini)
- Gator Hide (sealer)
- Denature Alcohol
- Cotton clothes/paper towels
- Old Masters Gel Stain (Dark Walnut)
- Low Lint Cheesecloth
Getting The Raw Wood Furniture Look
I had done this raw wood furniture finish once before on an old armoire, but it had been painted. That involved stripping. This was way easier! I didn’t even know how old this piece was, but the varnish had turned almost black. That’s a sign of a very old piece. The drawers were dovetailed and it was as solid as it was 35 years ago and it was old then. This was the perfect piece for this makeover.
I started my project with my electric Orbital Sander and a 180 grit sandpaper. Carefully I sanded all of the surfaces that I could reach. The old varnish sanded down easy on the top surfaces but underneath where it was more protected was a bit harder. I changed out the pad frequently to keep it from gumming up on the pads. When sanding, I was careful not to sand all of the old varnishes off. Just enough to see the raw wood. I left some areas with the old varnish to add a character that only an existing aged finish could give.
Using The Right Tools For A Raw Wood Furniture Finish
The corners and tight areas would have to have another tool to get into those tight areas. For these areas, I used my Dremel Tool. It came with a triangle sanding head and pads. It worked like magic. The raw wood furniture finish was starting to come together! I left a bit of the old darkened varnish in the cracks and around the inside of the corners. It almost looked like someone had glazed it in the corners. Nice!
Cleaning The Raw Wood After Sanding
The surfaces were carefully cleaned with denatured alcohol. The alcohol evaporates quickly and doesn’t add moisture to the wood. This was necessary to remove all the leftover dust from all the sanding. I used a paper towel but probably should have used a cotton cloth.
Touching Up The Stain
How To Seal Raw Wood Furniture
To seal the raw wood furniture finish and to protect it, I used Dixie Belle’s Gator Hide. Typically I would use this product over painted surfaces, but it worked great on the raw wood. Brushing it on with a soft paintbrush and not to overwork it was key as it dries quickly. The wood drank up the Gator Hide and when it had dried, the finish was smooth and beautiful.
The Natural Beauty of Raw Wood Furniture
It’s funny how things play out over time. This project could have gone a whole other direction had I not just waited for the right time. Although I love to paint, not everything needs paint. I hope Mom likes it. 🙂
Hey, thanks for stopping by! What do you think? Would you try this Raw Wood Furniture Finish on your antiques? If you loved this makeover… Check this one out! I did a similar piece last year but it had been painted. I had to strip it! It was so worth it. CLICK HERE to see the Raw Wood Armoire Makeover.
Until the next project… xo, Do