Whether varnish, paint, wax, shellac or lacquer, finishes are designed to enhance the beauty of wood furnishings and to preserve that beauty from future wear and tear. Different finishes offer various degrees of protection under varying circumstances. No single finish is ideal for every application. When it comes to refinishing antiques or fine wood furniture that has deteriorated, it’s particularly important to choose a finish with care. The right finish choice may depend on whether the furniture is being refinished for resale or whether the piece will be used as a functional piece of furniture in the owner’s home for many years to come.

Special Considerations for Antique Wood Furniture

When it comes to the monetary value of an antique or piece of fine wood furniture, the finish will either add to or subtract from its monetary value. Antique furniture collectors look for pieces with their original finishes, whether that is a coat of paint, a wood stain or an application of wax. Gentle signs of wear such as cracked paint, or “craquelure,” are not considered a flaw but rather part of the charm of the piece. A wood stain that has been worn by frequent use is considered part of the piece’s history, proof of its provenance.

To ensure that the value of a wood piece of antique furniture is protected, most experts advise leaving finish applications in the hands of a skilled restoration technician. The only finish that can be safely applied as a DIY project to wood stained furniture that won’t alter the piece’s value is wax. Wax finishes can protect the furniture from damage and can also be easily removed when desired. Owners may wish to consult with a professional furniture restorer first, however, to determine the best wax produt. Waxes that contain oils may darken or blacken the wood.

Furniture Restorers

A quality furniture restoration technician can repair and restore furniture to look either old or new. If the piece has already been devalued by being stripped of its original finish or by having additional finishes added, owners may choose to have the furniture restored to its original appearance or may opt to give the piece fresh life with an entirely new look.

Antique furniture can be fragile or in disrepair, making it essential to choose <b>furniture refinishers with a broad base of experience and expertise as well as extensive knowledge of historical furniture making techniques. Whether the goal is to restore a piece of furniture to its former glory in order to keep and enjoy the piece or whether the goal is to sell it, skilled antique restorers can refinish the piece without damaging its integrity.