Unfinished furniture can be a great choice for those who want to express their creativity and individuality with their home’s furnishings — even though several other people may have potentially purchased the same basic piece of furniture, nobody else in the world will have the exact same piece with the exact same finishing style and technique in their home. It’s the perfect fusion of mass production and one-of-a-kind home decorating.
Besides personal expression, there are also other benefits to purchasing unfinished furniture — it’s often much less expensive than finished furniture, so those who enjoy spending their time doing a little do-it-yourself painting or finishing can score some great bargains. And when buying finished furniture, it’s common practice that the pieces have been painted or finished in such a way as to hide damage, imperfections, and shoddy construction. Unfinished furniture allows you to thoroughly assess for quality materials and construction in the piece before you buy it.
Full disclosure: the process of sanding, sealing, staining, and finishing a piece is a painstaking ordeal that will take at least a couple of days. It’s a smelly, detail-oriented job that requires good ventilation and probably a few pairs of gloves. Even just painting a piece will still involve a couple of rounds of sanding and sealing before actually applying the paint. So if that sounds like your worst nightmare, it may be worth the increased cost for you to just purchase a piece of furniture that has already been finished by a professional. But if you’re the type of person who looks forward to spending a weekend finishing your own unique furniture creation, then this is a good choice for you!
There are several options: if you want to preserve the original color of the wood, you can simply sand the piece, seal it, and apply a clear finish. If you’d like to apply a darker stain to the wood, you’d still sand and seal the piece, but you’d add in the application of a wood stain before finishing. This adds time because the stain has to dry before applying the finish. If you’re looking to paint your piece — perhaps a basic white or black, or maybe a funky color to add some quirkiness and personality? — you’ll sand the piece, seal it, and then paint.
Whatever you choose, finishing your own piece of unfinished furniture can be a fun and creatively satisfying way to add unique decoration to your home. If you’re willing to put in the effort, it’s worth it to know that nobody else out there has quite the same thing.