Tips for Restoring Your Old Farmhouse

Tips for Restoring Your Old Farmhouse

Whether you have just purchased and old farmhouse, or already live in one, you can restore it back to its original splendor. We will list some helpful tips to consider when restoring an old farmhouse.

Restoring the Existing Kitchen

Do you like the rustic look of your old kitchen but want to keep it charming after restoration? There is no need to worry yourself over this. We will discuss some ways you can restore your kitchen while maintaining its rustic charm.

When most people think of a rustic farmhouse kitchen, they imagine one with hardwood floors and white painted cabinets with raised panel doors. You can maintain this image even after restoration.

Consider repainting the cabinets themselves, as well as replacing some of the existing doors with glass ones. Exchanging some of the raised panel doors for glass doors can make that old kitchen look charming. Adding white plates, saucers, and other dishes will fit well with white cabinets and glass doors.

Look at the existing countertops so you can determine what material they are made from. If they are in good shape, with a color you like, then you may want to keep them as is. In older kitchens, you will usually find that the countertops are made of soapstone or slate. Soapstone and slate have been in use for at least 150 years. Soapstone, and slate that has been mined from the Northeast U.S., is nonporous and chemical resistant.

If you prefer granite countertops, they are nonporous and chemical resistant. Granite countertops have been popular for the past 20 years or so. However, that fact should not have any affect on your decision to use them in a rustic kitchen. They are available in a wide variety of colors which can allow you to maintain that rustic look.

You may wish to consider installing a double sink if the existing one is single. A double sink will allow you to keep access to the disposal, while providing a way to wash dirty dishes at the same time.

Appliances are something else you should consider as a part of you restoring efforts. Replacing the old appliances with newer ones can help with efficiency. Which will lead to lower electric or gas bills. We suggest that you consider searching for used appliances before you buy anything. Appliances are like cars in that they depreciate the moment they leave the showroom or warehouse floor.

Restoring Existing Flooring

If the existing hardwood floors are in good condition, you may simply want to refinish them. Quality old hardwood floors can be refinished many times. If the flooring is warped, bent, or otherwise damaged, you may need to replace it.

If you replace existing hardwood flooring with new hardwood flooring, you should consider the color of stain you use. If your goal is to maintain the rustic look of your old house, you will want to choose a stain that will give the new flooring that appearance.

Restoring the Existing Bathroom

Older bathrooms will likely feature a clawfoot tub, and freestanding sink. This is another instance where you should consider the condition of the existing hardwood flooring. If the old flooring is damaged, it may not support the weight of a bathtub full of water with someone inside.

We should note that clawfoot tubs and freestanding sinks are what gives an old bathroom its charm. You can replace the existing tub and sink with new ones and still maintain the rustic look.

Restoring the Existing Living Room

The living rooms of older farmhouses are typically small by today’s standards. There are things you can do to make the living room appear larger than it is. The easiest thing to do is to properly arrange your furniture to allow for easier foot traffic flow.

Another thing to consider is repainting the existing walls. Try to stay with a light, warm color if you do any repainting. It will make the room appear larger than it really is.

What Should I Do With the Existing Windows?

The existing windows and windowsills are an important part of maintaining the rustic feel. Old wooden windows were usually made to last for an exceptionally long time. If they are properly maintained, they can last much longer than newer aluminum windows. Keep in mind that the old wooden windows may be drafty in the winter months.

Dealing with drafty windows can be a fairly simple process. The first thing you should do is to install weatherstripping and window locks. Locking a window can go a long way to sealing any cracks. You can also use things like caulking to fill in gaps around the windowpanes. These things can stop the drafts from coming through while still allowing you to open your windows.

Restoring the Existing Bedroom

Some people may not consider restoring the existing bedroom because it is normally a private space. You can upgrade the old bedroom and still maintain a rustic look.

You can buy a wooden bed frame and stain it to make it look like it is older. You can also consider repainting the walls.


We should make you aware of the fact that any paint that was done prior to 1978 may be lead based. You may also find that there is asbestos in the walls. Lead based paint can bubble and flake which releases lead into the home. Asbestos fibers can break loose and float in the air. Breathing in asbestos fibers for a period may lead to a form of lung cancer. If you are unsure of whether there is lead paint or asbestos in your old farmhouse, it is best to contact a professional who is trained in removing them.

How Am I Going to be Able to Pay for This Restoration Project?

We are glad that you asked that question. If you are in a cash poor situation, and need help with financing a restoration project, there is hope. There is a way to raise the cash necessary to pay for this project while you are living in your home. If you are age 62+ you may qualify for a federally insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, aka “Reverse Mortgage”. You might want to investigate a reverse mortgage and compare reverse mortgage rates as a way of financing your project as these loans are easy to qualify for and do not require immediate monthly repayments like traditional loans. You may use the funds as a line of credit just like the types you get from your bank. The loan is repaid when the home sells, or voluntarily. It is entirely up to you! Reverse mortgages aren’t just for home improvement and may be also used to buy a home in your retirement years

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