A few weeks ago, I dragged this old cabinet outside to sand it down. It had been in Marshall’s room for a few years in this house and our PA house. It had some water damage on top as well as sticker residue on the sides. I mean, it has been living in a kind-turned-teen’s room for a few years and they aren’t the best at furniture care! It was getting to the point that stripping and waxing this antique pine piece was going to be the best way to bring it back to life.
Striping Antique Pine
This cabinet had a very thin, yellowing finish on it that was easy to sand off with an orbital palm sander equipped with 100 grit sandpaper. I opted to go that route instead of using a chemical stripper, which is usually my preference. It would be faster and a little less mess in this case. THIS is the sander I use.
Once the existing finish was removed (it only took about an hour), I made a few passes with finer sandpaper (180 and 220) until the surface felt smooth to the touch. To get all of the dust off, I wiped it down with a damp cloth.
Before waxing this antique pine piece, I tried on some different knobs to replace the simple pine knobs. I sanded them as well in case I wanted to use them again, but I felt like different hardware would be a little more interesting. I had a few old glass knobs that are from the same era that looked fitting for the little cabinet. They add a bit of sparkle, too.
Waxing Antique Pine
I knew I wanted to apply a wax finish. The soft finish that brings out the luster in old wood just seems to suit antique pine. It’ll help the piece coordinate a little better with the antique pine wardrobe that holds my fabric stash. It is wearing an old waxed finish that still looks beautiful.
I sometimes apply wax with a brush, but if the area I’m waxing isn’t too intricate, I’ll use a microfiber cloth. It’s easier to apply the wax in moderation, in a nice, thin coat. That really is the key to applying wax – rub it into the surface like lotion into your skin. You only need as much as it can absorb and it works best in a light, thin layer. When wax is applied too thick, it ends up being sticky, tacky, and smudgy.
I only used about half of the small (50g) container of Furniture Wax for the entire cabinet. A little goes a long way.
The wax will darken the wood at first, but it’ll lighten as it dries. The result is a buttery smooth finish that allows the antique pine to breathe and develop a patina over time.
I was working on this piece while I had a million other things going on, so I didn’t take step-by-step pictures, but you can see a little video waxing tutorial I made for Pinterest’s new Story Pins HERE.
I know I have a lot of wood-loving readers out there, so I hope this one makes you happy!
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