Furniture Restoration Services
Furniture Restoration Services — What is furniture restoration and what can a service do for you?
Whether to use a professional furniture restoration service, or attempt the furniture restoration yourself is a tricky question. – And if you have a soft spot for antique furniture like I do, then sooner or later you’ll be faced with this dilemma. Before we consider whether you need the professional services of a furniture restoration company, let’s define furniture restoration.
Furniture restoration is often confused, or used interchangeably with the term furniture refinishing. The two are not the same. Furniture restoration often includes cleaning the antique, replacing critical parts (perhaps a dresser leg is missing, or a drawer pull is lost)- basically restoring the piece back to its glory. Merriam Webster defines the word “restore” as: to bring back to or put back into a former or original state. Clearly the goal of restoration is to make the piece look as it did when it was first created. Refinishing means removing the current finish on the piece (usually by sanding) and applying a new finish. The new surface may or may not try to match the original. Now that we’re clear on definition of furniture restoration, let’s consider whether you need professional restoration services.
One reason people attempt furniture restoration themselves, rather than hire a furniture restoration company is due to cost. It’s likely that you’ve spent a good deal of money on your antique, and hardly feel like spending more to have the piece restored. –This I understand. But before deciding to restore the antique yourself, I caution you to honestly evaluate your restoration skills, and do a bit of research of the difficultly level of the particular needs of your antique. Sadly, I know of many pieces whose potential was stripped away by a DIY restoration attempt gone wrong. If you decide the piece could be better restored by a furniture restoration company, consider the additional expenditure an investment in the piece. Proper furniture restoration will not only bring out the hidden beauty of the antique (and may increase its value) but it will also lengthen the life of the piece when properly cared for.
If you decide it’s best to call on the skills and resource of a furniture restoration company, it’s important to do a little investigation before you turn over your beloved piece. I advise you do the following before choosing a furniture restoration company:
- Check the Better Business Bureau. Has the BBB had any complaints against the furniture restoration service company you’re considering?
- Ask antique dealers. Ask a few local antique dealers for the name of a quality furniture restoration company. If you have a company in mind, ask if they’ve seen any of their restored pieces, or know of anyone who has used their services.
- Shop around. If possible, take your piece to at least two restoration companies. It won’t take long for you to get a feel for the level of personal service they are willing to provide. When obtaining multiple estimates, compare apples to apples, and remember, the lowest bid is not always the best bid (although it could be, and that’s great!)
- Discuss cost and timeline. Once you’ve settled on a furniture restoration service, be sure to discuss estimated cost and timeline upfront. Often, the restorer will uncover additional needs of the piece as they begin the restoration process. This may increase cost, and lengthen the time of the restoration. Be sure the furniture restoration company is clear on what action to take if they run into surprises (should they call you first to get the go-ahead?)
The next time a special antique catches your eye, think forward to its possible restoration, and you may decide to negotiate your price for the piece accordingly. I urge you to buy the piece at a fair rate, seriously evaluate your restoration skills, and seek the help of a professional restoration service when needed. Remember, antiques offer rich beauty, and make for an intelligent investment when properly cared for.