The Joys Of Furniture Refinishing
Are you a fan of reality TV shows like the Antiques Roadshow or American Pickers? Then you probably love to browse through flea markets and estate sales in search of that one-of-a-kind treasure. And if you’ve ever bought or inherited antique furniture, you know you have an exciting opportunity to transform an eyesore into an attention-grabber.
While you will appreciate the charm of old furniture that has been refinished, here are some points to consider before you embark on your next project:
- Refinishing can be rewarding. A well-loved, old piece of furniture is irreplaceable. Handmade pieces are generally better made than their modern, machine-crafted counterparts. Refinishing a hand-crafted quality piece will give it longevity and breathe new life into your existing décor. You’ll not only enjoy your investment today, its value will also increase over time.
- Will refinishing ruin the furniture’s value? The overall quality of the wood and craftsmanship of the piece will determine its value. Historically, valuable antiques are rare to find and as such, should be treasured. If you think you have a collectible in your hands, ask someone who knows. Get it appraised by an accredited source and leave it to professional care.
- Pick your pieces carefully. Choose versatile pieces of furniture and research their origin. Wooden items that were mass-produced before 1960 are great candidates for furniture refinishing. While they may not have antique value, they are solid and can last for many years. Refinishing a piece from this period can transform it into a great vintage item that may become a family heirloom.
- When is refinishing the best option? An original finish that is cracked or flaking can no longer effectively protect the wood and needs to be replaced. Sticky finishes indicate chemical alterations and cannot usually be saved. Pieces with dark finish and unsightly blemishes will benefit greatly from refinishing.
- Repairing versus refinishing. A finish that is mostly intact may not require a complete refinish job, but will still benefit from skillful touch ups. Minor blemishes including nicks, scratches, dings and white water ring marks can be easily fixed. Alternately, you may choose to preserve some of these “character marks” in the final look.