How Is Furniture Refurbishing Different From Furniture Restoration?

In the current scenario where waste material has already had a significant impact on mother earth, we should ensure that we do not play a major role in exacerbating the problem. Restoring furniture instead of disposing of it and buying new is one way of helping to reduce the amount of waste and preserve the environment. Most people who are led to try the restoration process often confuse the procedure with furniture refinishing; however, they are two completely different procedures. If you are totally unfamiliar with what the terms mean you should seek the advice of experts. Basically, refurbishing means to clean up and provide furniture with a new finish while restoration means to restore the furniture to an as-new condition.

The Key Differences Between Restoration and Refinishing of Furniture

Furniture Restoration

When talking about restoring furniture many people relate it to repairing. However, even in restoration, there is a huge difference between restoring and repairing. Even though restoration may require repairs to be carried out in certain cases, it generally means restoring a piece of furniture to make it look like new and preserving the materials to prevent it from deteriorating further. The procedure involves removing ingrained dirt and grime from the surface and recreating or replacing worn parts.

Generally, furniture restoration is done when owners wish to restore the appearance and authenticity of a piece of furniture that is very old or antique. The intention is to maintain the structural integrity and appearance of a piece of furniture in order to retain its value and to make it look like a brand new piece again.
Restoration is a non-invasive procedure that should leave the item as intact as possible except for minor changes and the replacement of damaged parts.

Furniture Refinishing

Refinishing involves stripping the existing finish on the furniture and replacing it with a new coating. If the piece is made out of wood, it would comprise the use of a chemical product to strip off the finish before sanding and refinishing with a new coating.

The Furniture Restoration Procedure

The procedure is quite simple and easily done.

• First, a professional restorer will examine the piece for damage by considering the following:

– the condition and extent of scratches
– whether there are any watermarks present
– whether there are any oil marks present
– signs of the finish wearing off
– Any damage to wooden parts from termite infestation

If marks and stains are too deep vigorous effort will be required to restore it, without which the process will be much easier.

• Next, the piece will be sanded until the surface is clean and smooth.

• Once the sanding is complete the necessary woodworking and replacement of parts will be done to make the piece look as authentic as possible.

• Finally, the piece will be refinished and polished to provide the final touch.

Furniture Refinishing Process

In the woodworking industry and decorative arts furniture refinishing means the process of stripping the existing finish and reapplying a new coat. Also known as repolishing it involves applying a new finish to an object of furniture. The procedure involves applying a finish like paint, lacquer, varnish, or another appropriate topcoat to the surface of an item. The main intention is to restore the appearance of the furniture by renewing the finish.

Refinishing can be applied to several different types of materials such as wood, glass, metal, paint or plastic. When considering the variety of traditional and modern finishes available there is a huge list to chose from, including faux finishes specially designed to add a unique and distinctive look to furniture.


When considering how furniture refurbishment has become one of the worthwhile processes out there for the restoration of furniture, it is profoundly important to understand how the entire process works before taking the plunge. With a dearth of people confusing the terms refinishing and restoration, it could result in some individuals not receiving the results they intended.

For this reason, it is extremely important to understand exactly what you require and how to achieve it, especially if you are considering using a DIY process to restore or refinish your furniture.

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