Antique Furniture Refinishing – Should You Restore Your Antique Furniture?

Antique Furniture Restoration Toronto

Antique Furniture Refinishing – Should You Restore Your Antique Furniture?

This is a question that is on a lot of people’s minds these days. Is it okay to refinish antique furniture or should the furniture just be left as is? Fortunately, there is no black and white answer to this question since it boils down to a person’s own preferences and it also depends on the type of antique furniture and the condition it is in.

Antique Furniture Restoration According to the Experts

Many people have been watching reality TV shows that showcase people looking for antiques and then cashing them in for big money. You’ll notice that many individuals on the shows have rare finds that are worth thousands of dollars. The experts on these TV shows recommend not refinishing or restoring antique furniture but they are looking at things from a biased point of view.

Most people have antiques that aren’t worth thousands upon thousands of dollars. If you do have something that dates back for years and is worth a lot of money, it would be worth getting a second opinion as to whether antique furniture restoration would be right for that piece. In most cases, however, refinishing antique furniture is a great idea – especially if restoring the piece would make it look better.

Antique Furniture Defined

Most antique sellers define antique furniture as an item that is more than 100 years old. Another definition that is used most often by auctioneers and appraisers of pieces that are highly valued is the furniture that was made before the start of the industrial age. This means that the piece of furniture would date back to the 1840s.

Another important part of the definition, however, that is not strictly anchored in time is the rarity of the furniture piece in question. Something that dates back to the early 1920s, for example, that is rare and hard to find may be considered to be an antique by some professionals. This is especially true if the wooden furniture piece still has its original finish and there have been no major losses or modifications made to it.

Furniture that was mass-produced in the 20th century will become increasingly rare as the years go by. Because it was mass-produced and distributed widely, however, these pieces shouldn’t be expected to appreciate a lot in the near future. When furniture isn’t original, this can be considered to be a liability. In many cases this mass-produced furniture could have its value raised with antique furniture restoration.

Furniture Restoration Toronto – To Restore or Not to Restore?

The first thing you’ll need to do to answer this question is to properly assess the piece of furniture in terms of its rarity, condition and age. Also take a look at how useful it would be in your current environment. If in doubt, you’ll probably need to have an expert take a look at your furniture to give it a proper assessment in order to determine the right approach to take to save your furniture. In some cases a good cleaning is all that would be required while in other cases the furniture piece would need to be recoated or completely stripped and refurbished.

A professional will inspect the furniture and look for any identifying marks or labels to help determine its origin. The piece may also have a special carving that would help identify its age and origin. If you find out that it’s a very valuable item you should not attempt any do-it-yourself restorations on it but should leave the work up to a professional that is qualified to work with high-end antique pieces.

If you discover that the furniture piece isn’t rare it will be up to you as to whether or not furniture restoration Toronto should go ahead. When working with antiques, however, professional restorers are always the best option since you’ll know that you’ll be leaving your furniture in good hands. There are also times when the integrity of the structural design of the furniture has been compromised and needs to be addressed. In these types of scenarios you should turn to the experts to get an opinion as to whether the piece is salvageable or not.

Important Points to Note before Refinishing Antique Furniture

Here are some of the main points that you should be considering before refinishing any furniture that you think may be an antique:

  • Was the piece of furniture constructed by a manufacturer or a craftsman that was or is still notable? Regardless of the age of the furniture, search for special marks or labeling appearing either at the back or on the bottom of the piece that would show its origin.
  • Would you consider the piece of furniture to be out of the ordinary? Do you think it’s a masterpiece? Take another look at it to ensure that antique furniture refinishing won’t lower its value.
  • Do you think that the furniture only requires light repairs or a good cleaning to make it look better? If so, start by cleaning it up and then do only minor repairs on the furniture. Antique furniture refinishing should always start with the least invasive techniques and then move forward with more complicated techniques as required.
  • If you believe that your furniture piece may hold some value, concentrate on antique furniture restoration rather than completely revamping it whenever it’s feasibly possible.

Antique furniture refinishing and restoration often requires a combination of doing some research and using good old common sense and your best judgment. When you need help, get professional advice from expert antique woodworkers to ensure that the antique furniture maintains its value.

It’s also important to note that some people don’t worry about the value of the antique furniture and just want to make the piece suitable for their own home. If this applies to you, go ahead with your antique furniture restoration plans as you see fit. 

When you need help with antique furniture refinishing, call the furniture restoration Toronto specialists for guidance. Browse through our website at to see why our clientele consider us to be the best Toronto antique furniture restoration company.


Hello Donna

I just wanted to say Thank you for another amazing job! The table and chairs look absolutely amazing, as usual I am very happy with my new table and chairs. As always it’s a pleasure dealing with you guys from start to finish! Thank you again.

- Tina

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