| |

How to Care for Salvaged or Unsealed Wood Furniture

This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. Please Read my Disclosure Policy.

Thanks for all the comments you guys left about how I created my own Carrara Marble top on the sideboard in my kitchen with paint.  The faux finish really has made a huge difference in pairing the two unmatched pieces of furniture.   A little history that I did not mention – About 22 years ago, I painted the top to look like green marble – which was popular back then.  When I painted my kitchen cabinets, I also painted over the faux green marble.   Gotta love what you can do with paint.

Many of you wanted to know more about how I stripped the cabinet and how to care for unsealed or salvaged wood with questions like:

– Do you leave the wood as it is?

-Did I put a clear polyurethane over it?

If you missed the post on how I stripped the cabinet, you can find it here, Furniture Stripping Basics.

How to protect salvaged or unsealed wood furniture

To answer your questions, I did a little research.  For now I am leaving the cabinet unsealed as it is a piece that does not get too much use.

How to Care For Salvaged or Unsealed Wood Furniture

-If it is a piece that will get a fair amount of use – like a tabletop; apply a coat or two of soft beeswax based paste wax to protect it.  This will condition the wood, keeping it looking very natural with a matte finish while enhancing and protecting the wood grain.

-You can always add a sealant later, or experiment on finishes and sealants like a clear or tinted polyurethane on the underside of your piece to determine your favorite look.

-There is a risk of stains from spills or oils if the wood is left unfinished. Sanding with a combination of first 100 grit and then 220 grit sand paper will typically remove them and restore the look and feel.

– Even though the imperfections in the wood add to its allure, using coasters and placemats will help prevent unwanted stains and marks.

– The best method for cleaning is simply soap and water.  You can also create a solution with a few tablespoons of white vinegar diluted in spray bottle of water. It works well to get off the finger prints and smudges.

I love how the cabinet came out and will consider stripping more furniture in my future.  When my budget allows, I may even end up buying a piece of furniture made from salvaged wood.


Now for a fitting giveaway to go with this post!

giveaway  has ended!

If you are interested in transforming old or even new pieces of furniture so they suit your style and taste, then you are  going to love the new book by Barb Blair. She is the founder and blogger behind Knack Studios. She has written a very informative book entitled:

Furniture Makeovers

Furniture Makeovers by Barb Blair of Knack Studios


Published by Chronicle Books, it is filled with step-by-step photo tutorials showing you simple techniques for transforming furniture with paint, stains, paper, stencils, and more.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. That cabinet turned out awesome! I decided to go ahead and strip the desk I was undecided about and it looks amazing. I can’t wait to put on the hardware I ordered and show the final reveal. Did you also do that table in the end picture?

    1. Hi Heidi – So happy that your desk came out great! It is a smelly messy job, but worth it. I did the table first around Easter. I figured since it was a big flat surface it would be an easy piece to start figuring out how to strip furniture.

  2. This sounds perfect for anyone! Thank you for thinking of us and offering this book as a Giveaway!

    I have been restoring and painting furniture for a few months now with hopes of making a job for myself in the town I moved to last July, where jobs are impossible to come by. My first ‘yard sale’ of painted pieces was a smashing hit! I would Love to have a book to learn more from! Maybe it will help me avoid further stencil failures too. I have a ton of work ahead of me to be as good at this as so many of you all, and have an event I plan to sell at coming up in July!

    Bev @ Give me a paintbrush

  3. I remember painting faux green marble with my mom back in the day. When my fiance and I move into our new place in a couple of months I’ll be redoing some of my wood furniture so I’m definitely interested in the stripping and other painting techniques you have used recently.