Building furniture from scratch does not only include cutting and assembling; it also means that the builder is in charge of ensuring that the pieces are cut and attached correctly. Not too many people consider building a DIY piece of furniture for obvious reasons. If you look at it from the perspective of a DIY furniture fanatic, you will surely have a different opinion after seeing the outcome.
We’ve got you covered if you want to explore your hands in building professional-looking DIY furniture from scratch. Here are six ways that you must follow for the best results.
Good Lumber is a Must
That’s a top tip; anyone who has experience building furniture the way would strongly recommend that! It does not mean you have to go out of your way to buy expensive and fancy hardwoods. You could use spruce, pine, or construction lumber. If you are building plywood, you must invest in good quality stuff!
Wood Putty For Imperfections
Never draw assumptions about paint hiding imperfections. Whatever hole, scratch, cracks, uneven surface, or any defect crosses your eyes; we advise you to use wood putty for overfilling. If you choose to stain instead of using paint on your furniture, always get stainable putty. Remember that putty always shrinks after it dries; hence overfilling is mandatory. Make sure to sand it to even out smoothly.
Sanding is Necessary
Sanding is mandatory, do not skip this part. No one enjoys sanding because it’s yucky and messy. But, for neat and professional-looking furniture, you must sand it! We suggest you take this seriously.
Here are some sanding tips for doing the job easily:
- Using an orbital sander or a belt sander is a good option for smoothening and evening the individual pieces. You must remember to sand them before assembling the single pieces. Usually, sanding all the pieces with a minimum of 220 grit is advised before putting the pieces together. It’s hard to sand those hard-to-access corners after assembly. So, completing it before assembling ensures efficiency.
- After assembly, sand the uneven areas using low grit (like 60, 80, or 120) to smoothen all the edges. This is followed by buffing out the sanding marks and even it down by increasing the grit (such as 220, 320). If you follow the grit instructions accordingly, your furniture texture should be perfectly smooth and even!
- You must pay extra care if you use plywood for your furniture base. Sanding plywood veneer with high grit sandpaper can damage the top layer and ruin it for you. Be gentle on plywood, do it very lightly with a low grit to avoid mishaps.
Account for Blade Widths on Cuts
One of the best table saw blades for beginners are usually 1/8″ wide for table saws, circular, as well as a miter. Many people don’t consider it, but you must consider this point. Whatever piece you want to build, the legs must be the same size in length and width, so the saw blade widths are essential to check.
When you draw or make marks for the cuts, you must remember to place the blade on the scrap end of the mark. Avoid cutting right in the center of the mark. Also, don’t place the blade on the wrong side. 1/8 “ can seem tiny, but it can hamper your building assignment. To ensure accuracy, mark a line or dot on the cut-off end of your piece.
If you unintentionally cut a piece too short, don’t stress. It happens a lot, and there’s a term for it too – “kerf”.
Mistakes happen. Make sure you cut the rest of the pieces shorter if you make that mistake so that all the pieces are uniform. Be consistent along the way.
Ideally, this is something many people learn from making mistakes, which is still okay. This is probably a test of patience and intricacy. Check for the boards to be squared when you are building, possibly after every single step.
Let’s break this down for you if you are making a kitchen cabinet, and you have completed every side except for the back. This is the moment you want to ensure that everything is squared before nailing it. The last thing you want is for it to be misaligned or crooked after nailing it. This is what “check for square” means.
Just take a measuring tape and mark it on the outside corners before nailing it.
6. Squared Edges
Again, this one’s a vital step. Checking that the edges of the boards are squared is a must before using them. It can visibly improve DIY furniture-making skills to the next level. Your pieces will look cleaner, your measurements will be error-free, and assembling will be breezy. Plus, this differentiates your piece from homemade furniture to a professional-looking piece.
So, what does squaring the edges of your board mean to regular people? When you buy any 2x boards from stores, you’ll notice rounded edges. So, you must follow this step religiously; otherwise, you will struggle when joining them together.
I hope you have a confidence boost after reading our pro tips on building professional-looking DIY furniture. These are the top six ways to help you tackle the challenges you face at different stages of your DYI project. Be patient, do more research before buying the boards. Also, we advise you to build a model with smaller pieces first, because let’s not forget the cause, buying furniture online or in-store is not cheap. We hope these were helpful, and you can begin building your furniture soon! Happy Building!