When to refinish antique wooden furniture

HH Antiques always has furniture in stock.  Stop in to see what’s available

HH Antiques always has furniture in stock. Stop in to see what’s available

I am often asked about whether or not to refinish antique wooden furniture.

Recently, my customer Laurie asked about antique wooden side table that had some small water damage on the top and some of the finish is coming off. She wondered “Should I refinish it? Will it still be as valuable?”

If the table is of museum quality, over 100 years old, made by a famous furniture maker, or a treasured family heir loom… before refinishing is important to know the answer to the above questions.

How bad is the damage?
Could just the small area be repaired?
Is it veneer or solid wood?

If it a relatively newer piece 50 years old or newer, not made by a famous furniture maker, but has family sentimental value, I usually suggest having it fixed so that you will enjoy using the piece. If it is stained or has a warped top and it bothers you, you will be less likely to enjoy it. In that case, go ahead and repair it. Or, some of my customers use a doily to cover small blemishes. Some minor damage can be easily fixed with special wood cleaners.

If you find that your piece is valuable beyond sentimental value: take it to a reputable furniture conservator. 

Susan Snipes