Many of us have pieces of furniture at home that we aren’t too attached too, but we also have those select few pieces that we would take with us anywhere and be absolutely decimated if we lost them. For those cheaper items that you don’t really care about, once you’ve gotten your money’s worth out of them they generally just aren’t worth refinishing, or you may just be ready for something new. The more sentimental and special items though, may be well worth refinishing. Furniture repair is a fantastic service; it can truly take your old furniture from drab to fab. The final product should look like it just came straight off of the assembly line.
A specialized field like furniture repair takes many years of practice and learning to even begin to grasp reasonably. Your average joe isn’t going to be able to do an hour’s worth of research and re-do a piece of furniture. Not only do you have to be able to source the materials you need, but you need to have specialized tools to do different things that can be extremely expensive to buy outright. Not only will a pro have all the tools they need, but they’ll be able to source any materials they need quite easily. DIY work risks you wasting tons of money on supplies, or even worse just completely ruining your beloved piece of furniture.
Refinishing and restoration are confused a lot, so let’s break it down. Restoration tends to be more like touch up’s, light outside cleaning and cosmetic repair. The end goal is to keep the integrity of the piece but improve the outward appearance, expanding the lifespan some. Refinishing is a lot more in-depth, it involves stripping the finish off of the piece. Any wood pieces are coated with a chemical stripper, sanded, stained, and then finally refinished. SOME antiques will lose value after refinishing. If that matters to you, do your research and be careful.
Watch out for MDF and particleboard. It’s cheap, mass-produced, and not worth the time to try and refinish. Paint won’t even adhere well to the smooth plastic-like surfaces. Honestly when it comes to true antiques with real value, you just want to avoid having it refinished if you want to maintain the value. The best candidates for refinishing are sturdy solid wooden pieces of factory-made furniture and antique furniture repair. Being that these are usually mass produced, you aren’t risking someone’s handmade labor of love or ruining a true antique.