The essential supplies for furniture restoration are sandpaper, a sander, wood putty and a putty knife. Primer, paint and varnish are required for finishing. A stripper is necessary to remove a previous finish or paint. Use 4.0 grade steel wool and paste wax to create a soft finish when using wipe-on finishing products. Nonessential but helpful supplies used in furniture restoration are markers, pencils, disposable plastic cups, painter's tape and stirring sticks.
Use sandpaper for smaller projects. An electric sander is effective for large furniture pieces. Sanding removes previous finishes and prepares the wood for the primer. Use low grit sandpaper to remove thick layers of varnish, paint or lacquer. Use high grit sandpaper to remove thin layers of finishing products and smooth out the first layer of primer.
Use wood putty to create a uniform surface by applying it with a putty knife. For larger cracks and small missing pieces from corners and legs, use wood filler.
Primer improves paint adhesion. Two or three layers of primer are necessary depending on the wood's condition. Use a gray primer for dark paint and white primer for light paint.
High gloss and semi-high gloss enamel paint creates a shiny appearance. Choose eggshell enamel paint for a matte look. Apply two or three layers to create a uniform coat.
Use varnish to seal the paint and to create a protective layer for furniture placed in areas of high traffic.