Furniture Restoration: How to Get Started

If you are retired or just want to find a fun and rewarding hobby that can make you a little money on the side, you should consider furniture restoration. What is seen as junk on the side of a street or in an alley is a treasure for some. From bizarre to classical, people love original-looking and unique furniture. Learn to restore and sell beautiful family heirlooms on a budget.

Before You Get Started

A good way to get started is to learn about the basics of furniture restoration. Before spending any money familiarize yourself with local ordinances and laws concerning toxic chemicals such as lead in older paints and flame retardants in modern furniture. Secure a dedicated space that is well ventilated and that is brightly lit. In addition, let your neighbors know that you will be using power tools, as these can be noisy. It’s never a bad idea to have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of extreme emergencies. Also, be careful when using different paints and solvents in the same ventilated area; mixing chemicals can go poorly and your health could be a victim.

Consider your budget

The cost of setting up for creating furniture restoration will vary depending on the scale of the furniture, the woods used, the age and condition of the furniture, and the tools, sanders, and chemicals used. Start with a small percentage of your disposable income, and plan for unexpected expenses. Purchase the basics and most important tools first and work towards a plan to purchase more higher end tools later once you get the hang of restoration.

You may want to buy refurbished or certified used power tools when you can. Consult a local hardware store or furniture maker, and if there is a school that offers classes in furniture restoration and consider signing up.

Specialize In the Type and Era of Furniture You Want to Restore

Depending on the type, and when it was made, you will want to research. Start with the company and the date it was made. Try and find any photos online and print those out. Any changes you make to antiques will have a direct impact on the value of an antique. Some collectors and sellers argue that less is more. Some argue that the aged appearance of old furniture adds to its charm and value of the furniture. Others argue that restoring how it back to how looked new is more important.

Play it Safe

You will want to do it well. You will be working with many hand tools, and power tools, as well as toxic chemicals. In addition to this, you will be sanding, which can create air-born particles. You should wear protective gear for the eyes. There are many resources online for safety guidelines. Work in a brightly lit and well-ventilated secured location, that provides ample space for maneuvering about.

How Profitable Is Furniture Restoration?

After learning the skills, you may at some point want to start a home-based furniture restoration business. It can be profitable if planned out properly. First, contact your local city and state government. You will need a business license, and depending on the size of your business, you may want to advertise. Expect a slow early turnaround on profits. Secure capital for equipment, and plan for inspections of your worksite by local government. Price according to the market. Also, work with clients to establish their expectations and provide a quote and contract that includes labor and materials. Plan well, and you can succeed!

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