You can find tons of “how-to” books on furniture restoration. However, it is recommended to leave some DIY projects to experienced professionals. The majority of “do-it-yourselfers” simply don’t have the same caliber of resources and knowledge as trade professionals.
It’s common for countless mistakes to be made on restoring wood furniture. The wood type must be correctly identified, along with using the right technique, cleaning solvents, removing finishes, sanding, matching the correct colors, and more. Other factors include the labor demands for physical strength, the number of tools needed, an ideal workspace with natural lighting, storage space if you don’t complete it immediately, and time – some finishes can take months to dry.
Ornate, Carved Pieces
Many “do-it-yourselfers” will discover that restoring wood furniture is a time-consuming and challenging process. With ornate carvings or intricately-shaped features, mistakes can mean damage to the piece or compromising its design and value. Accurate, proper restoration involves the understanding of organic chemistry and a mastery of wood-working and -finishing skills.
Why bother trying to conserve original materials and rebuild the upholstered furniture piece yourself? About 20 tools are needed for the job and the required techniques employed are tiring, difficult or lengthy. Most upholstered chair restoration project can take up to 18 hours to complete. Throughout the tedious process, steps involve stripping off old upholstery, cleaning framing and upholstery, repairing frames, finishing, replacing cushion fillings, applying trimming and more.
To qualify as an antique, a furniture piece must be at least 100 years old. Antiques should always be restored by a professional. Doing it yourself heightens the risks the decreasing the value, damaging the patina that gives the old look and proves its age, overdoing the restoration, or harming the wood’s aging process or finish. No inexperienced person should try to restore antique furniture.
Expensive furniture is costly for a reason and restoration can be pricey, as well as mistakes. If you’re unable to purchase an identical or similar replacement (in case too many mistakes are made), then it’s a good idea to steer clear of refinishing a costly furniture piece. Mistakes can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Just consider turning it over to a professional.