Restoring an old piece of wooden furniture can be a tedious process. An inexperienced do-it-yourselfer may look at a blemished piece of furniture and assume it needs to be refinished, when a touch-up may be just as effective (and a lot less time-consuming). In many cases, a thorough cleaning and waxing may be all it takes to turn that dull, worn-out table into a lustrous centerpiece! Cleaning the Furniture Regardless of the level of restoration needed, it is important to properly clean your furniture. Even if you ultimately plan to refinish the piece, it is essential to remove the dirt, dust and oil that has built up over the years. If the furniture doesn’t have any surface scratches or cracks in the finish, a good cleaning may be all it takes to restore its beauty and luster, as dirt and grime can often give the illusion of worn-off finish. An oil-based wood cleaner should be sufficient for the job. When cleaning, use a soft cloth and to apply the cleaner evenly, using strokes that go with the grain. After application, allow the cleaner to dry for a couple hours before wiping it off with a new cloth. Depending on the state of your furniture, this process may need to be repeated several times. Once your furniture has been cleaned it is recommended that you wax and buff the wood in order to protect the finish and give it a nice shine.