You've had your favorite piece of wood furniture for years. Its served you well, through thick and then. But you've noticed that over the years, dust buildup and frequent use has the caused the piece to lose its luster. If you don't have knowledge of woodworking, polishing your old piece of furniture can be a daunting task. The truth is, you don't need to know all the types of wood, varnish, etc. to get your entire piece back in working order. If you've been wondering how to polish furniture, look no further than this DIY guide!

A brush sitting on a table being polished.

What Type of Furniture Polish Should I Use?

There are all sorts of furniture polish for wooden furniture available, so it can be hard to choose. For most wood furniture, you'll want to get one of the "semi-solid" polishes. These wood cleaning products work on most kinds of wood, just make sure to get one without silicone. Another name for this product is "paste wax" because that's basically its texture. These can be found at any hardware store, and online at places like Amazon and Home Depot.

Oil vs. Wax

These wax polishes provide some protection from the elements and grime. It is worth noting that while oil polishes can make your wood look great, they don't provide the same protection to your wood grain that thicker polishes provide.

2 cans of furniture polishing wax sitting on a table.

DIY Furniture Polish

There are all sorts of other ways to make a wood surface shine. Some people elect to ditch factory made polishes entirely and use white vinegar mixed with olive oil or other household substances. Mineral oil is also a viable option.  Some polishes are even made with beeswax, and can be applied to hardwood floors as well. This wax can also help in a pinch as a DIY way of buffing out scratches.

Furniture Polishing Technique

You'll need to use a soft cloth/clean cloth with a dollop of your furniture conditioner of choice. A microfiber cloth would also work, just make sure you aren't using anything too abrasive. If you have a spray bottle, you can use it to spray the surface instead. Wipe with circular motions until the surface is thoroughly polished. If there is still liquid left on the wood surface, you'll need to wipe it down with a dry cloth to remove the excess liquid. 

A person using a cloth to polish a wood surface.

We hope you found this brief guide to furniture polishing helpful. If you're interested in browsing our selection of fine antique furniture, you can do so at If you'd like to learn more about furniture repair, check out our in-depth guide here!