Know what you want the finished product to look like. It’s always best to have some kind of idea what you want it to look like after you are done refinishing it! A good tip (especially if you bought this piece of furniture second hand) is to make sure that you match it to the rest of your home’s décor. Whether it is wood and you are re staining it or painting it, make sure you go through the proper steps, you don’t want to just throw some stain or paint on without sanding it first, this will help so it doesn’t chip or crack easily!
Make sure your piece of furniture is clean. A lot of older pieces of furniture are unfortunately neglected, so the dirt and grime starts to build up rapidly. If you don’t give it some good elbow grease before starting your restoration project, then most of the time your paint/stain will just end of peeling off. Plus it’s always nice to clean something to your own cleanliness standards anyways! This way it’s a win for the furniture and you!
Make all necessary repairs. You make luck out in finding an old piece of furniture in pretty good condition therefore you will not need to worry about doing this! If you aren’t that lucky however you will want to replace any loose nuts/bolts, table/chair legs, knobs or anything else that needs to be fixed. This step can be done before or after you have done any kind of cosmetic adjustment. My advice is to replace/add anything AFTER you are done painting/staining. I recommend this because then you don’t have to tape anything off and you don’t have to be as careful, so it can make your project go a lot quicker!
Pick up a How-To-Guide book. For a lot of us who have never done any kind of furniture restoration before, it’s probably a good idea to pick one of these guides up, so that if you need a quick question answered you can have it on hand. You can find these books at your local library, book store or maybe even your supermarket. YouTube is also a great place to look for step-by-step guide for any project that you may have on the go or would like to start. There all are types of videos on there for almost anything, and you can follow along easily and at your own pace!
Here are just a FEW suggestions on the types of tools you will most likely need/use. Sand paper, and I would get both the rough type (80 to 120 grit) and the finer type (300 to 600 grit). Get a couple different putty knives, plastic and metal, hammer, screwdriver, rubber mallet for wood, wood putty, wood glue, measuring tape, gloves, face mask, and a few different sized of paint brushes!
Hope this helps and you create something beautiful!