We've all heard the phrase "they don't make 'em like they used to," which in my experience, cannot be more true when it comes to quality-made furniture. Dovetailed drawers or burled wood veneer seems to have been replaced by the convenience of assemble-yourself, particle-board furniture. Although these pieces are affordable, the poor construction quality makes them practically disposable. But if you get your hands on some solid wood furniture (look for these tell-tale signs), you may only need a few simple tricks to keep an outdated piece relevant.
Love the lines of a vintage wooden piece but the finish seems dry or cracked? Sometimes the easiest fix is to re-oil the wood. Think about it, you moisturize your skin when it feels dry right? Well wooden furniture needs a little pampering every now and then too.
The drawers that is. I often find old dressers have a sticky drawer or two. But the culprit is almost always the track - not the drawer. Try rubbing an old candle on the track - a coat of wax can help lubricate and reduce friction (see some more unstuck tips here). If that doesn't work, it could be the wood expanding/ contracting in extreme temperatures. I've been able to get a drawer to fit by shaving the edges for a smoother fit.
Inherited a piece with a paint-job gone wrong? Stripping it back down to the wood is not as hard as you may think, especially if you use the right paint stripper and a good putty knife. I personally like CitriStrip Stripping Gel since it's indoor-safe and has minimal fumes. Still doubting the amount of sweat-equity?
It's no secret that a little paint can go a long way, but using a clever paint treatment can bring a vintage piece back into this century. Try an unexpected pattern or a two-tone finish for something more trendy.