Restoration Tips

These expert tips and hands-on techniques from Restoration Realities can be used in many of your restoration projects.
Related To:

Making Spindles

  • Wood turning is a craft that is refined over time.
  • Always wear safety glasses and a dust mask.
  • Make sure your tools are sharp.
  • Before starting the lathe, turn the wood in the lathe to make sure it is balanced and clears the tool rest. Readjust if necessary.
  • Practice makes perfect. Use old scrap wood to try different techniques.
  • When finishing, remove any tool marks by using sandpaper or sponge type sanding blocks.

Paint Removal

There are three ways you can remove old paint or varnish from wood:

Safety Alert: Always wear eye and skin protection, as well as respirators, when dealing with chemials. Also, in any stripping method, proper ventilation is a must.

  • A chemical paint or varnish remover is available in semi-paste and liquid form. Once applied, any remaining paint or varnish can then be scraped off or washed away. To wash away, use water or mineral spirits to neutralize the stripping material. This is usually the fastest and most effective way to remove old paint.
  • You can use sandpaper or an electric sander to remove paint. Special care must be administered if you're removing lead-based paint to avoid airborne and surface contamination.
  • The third way to remove paint is with heat. The heat will bubble up the paint without damaging the wood. Use the same safety precautions as with the other techniques when using this method.


Note: Collection and disposal of the material removed is critical. There are sites available that will accept the material for disposal.

Using a Miter Saw

  • Miter saws are designed to make very precise cuts. However, never try to cut wood wider or deeper than the saw permits.
  • Clear your work site, both at level and on the ground so your footing is never jeopardized.
  • Keeping your hand clear of the blade, hold the material tight to the fence and down against the table with one hand, then work the saw with the other.
  • After starting the saw, push the blade firmly down and into the wood. Never start the saw on the wood.
  • When using a sliding compound miter saw, never pull the blade through the wood. Start at the outside and push the blade into the wood.
Keep Reading

Next Up

9 Tips for Buying Used Woodworking Tools

Getting second-hand tools is a great way to get good tools and save some dough.

Tips on Staining Wood

Follow this advice on how to properly stain wood furniture.

Tips for Cleaning Leather

Find tips, techniques and recipes for keeping leather in top shape.

Plumbing Emergency Tips

Ed the Plumber offers tips on the tools needed to make a plumber's emergency kit and what to do during plumbing emergencies.

Autumn Maintenance Tips

Use these must-do fall maintenance tips to keep your house in shape and help keep you warm this winter.

Tips on Painting Furniture

Learn these tips on painting furniture to ensure that your next furniture painting project is a success.

Tips on Choosing Adhesives

Adhesives, or glues, work in different ways and each is suited to specific surfaces. Use this guide to choose the best adhesive for any project.

Tips for Cleaning Leather Upholstery

Leather is a popular choice in furniture, car interiors, clothes and accessories. Along with the cozy leather sofa and great shoes, comes the frustration of keeping them clean.

Skylight Installation Tips

Looking to brighten a dark and dreary space? A skylight will not only brighten up your home, it will also add an architectural style that is sure to impress.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.