Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Having wood furniture refinished???
Old 07-28-2010, 10:32 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
Having wood furniture refinished???

Has anyone here had any furniture refinished by a professional and felt it was worth the cost?
I have a number of pieces of Mid Century Modern (such a nice way to say crap from the '50's) and--seeing that they are in great shape still--thought I might have a professional sand them down and refinish them. I have a bedroom suite and a table I'd like redone. Amazingly, during that period of time they used real wood still. So, they were built to last and have good bones to them.
So, any experience having furniture re-done by a pro? Any advice?
__________________

__________________
Please consider adopting a rescue animal. So very many need a furr-ever home and someone to love them! And if we all spay/neuter our pets there won't be an overpopulation to put to death.
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-28-2010, 10:59 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
bbbamI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas 'burb
Posts: 9,039
I've had some furniture refinished; it was well worth the cost (sentimental pieces) and I didn't have any problems. It's a lot of work, so be prepared to be a bit shell-shocked when they give you an estimate.

I suggest taking photos of your furniture before you give it to them. Make sure they list the pieces of furniture, what is to be done and the price. Tell them whether or not you want the back and underneath of your pieces to be refinished.

Don't be surprised if you have to wait two weeks to a month to get your furniture back. When you do receive it, ask them how to clean it properly.
__________________

__________________
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
bbbamI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2010, 11:17 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
Take a wild guess, BBBamI, is the cost of refinishing about 33% of the cost of buying it new? That was kinda what I was figuring.
__________________
Please consider adopting a rescue animal. So very many need a furr-ever home and someone to love them! And if we all spay/neuter our pets there won't be an overpopulation to put to death.
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2010, 11:21 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Keim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Moscow
Posts: 1,128
Ya know, its really not hard to do yourself. Get yourself a copy of this book: The Furniture Doctor by G. Grotz

Amazon.com: The Furniture Doctor (9780385266703): George Grotz: Books
__________________
You can't enlighten the unconscious.
But you can hit'em upside the head a few times to make sure they are really out...
Keim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2010, 11:24 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
bbbamI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas 'burb
Posts: 9,039
Well, most of my pieces were old so it's hard to know the percentage. I did have a coffee table refinished and the cost was about $100.

They're not gonna give a flip about how expensive the furniture is...they'll just be looking at the size and detail.

One other thing...if your furniture does not have paint on it, the cost should not be quite as expensive.
__________________
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
bbbamI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2010, 07:28 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
I am not a big fan of "refinishing" old furniture. For one thing, it lowers the value (sometimes tremendously) in the aftermarket. More importantly, the nicks, bruises, and general wear and tear are what "sentimental value" is all about.

A better solution (IMHO) is to simply give them a good waxing. The results may surprise you. Of course, you must use the best wax -- that used by antique dealers is a good place to look.

Anyway, I would start with that and then decide whether spending more money will enhance or detract from their value.
__________________
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." ~(perhaps by) Yogi Berra
"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2010, 07:46 AM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Naples
Posts: 2,161
When we moved from Michigan to Florida, the bedroom suite was really dark and just didn't fit in with the tropical decor. We found a refinisher and had it stripped of the dark finish and then if was resealed on the original oak wood color. It looked more like pecan and the finish was great. We still have it. Bought it right after we married 38 years ago. I would not refinish an antique unless it was in horrible condition. It was refished in 1990 and can't remember the cost but was was well worth it in our estimation.
__________________
JOHNNIE36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2010, 08:12 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
I am not a big fan of "refinishing" old furniture. For one thing, it lowers the value (sometimes tremendously) in the aftermarket. More importantly, the nicks, bruises, and general wear and tear are what "sentimental value" is all about.

A better solution (IMHO) is to simply give them a good waxing. The results may surprise you. Of course, you must use the best wax -- that used by antique dealers is a good place to look.

Anyway, I would start with that and then decide whether spending more money will enhance or detract from their value.
+1
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2010, 09:11 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
I know antique dealers use some kind of mix of turpentine and mineral oil to clean up old pieces, I think it is, and I can find that one out to use.
But, I totally agree, IF these were antiques I wouldn't dare touch them as it lowers the value. These are '50's made pieces. One, in fact, is so modern that it could be made today, surprisingly.

***Anyone know that mix with turpentine that antique dealers use to clean up their furniture?
__________________
Please consider adopting a rescue animal. So very many need a furr-ever home and someone to love them! And if we all spay/neuter our pets there won't be an overpopulation to put to death.
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2010, 09:15 AM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,033
Since you are usually talking about moving somewhere I would delay doing it . The furniture styles in different parts of the country vary and after you pay to move it you may not want it anymore . I know this from experience . I moved a huge dining set to Florida only to get rid of it in six months for lighter furniture .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2010, 09:44 AM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower View Post
I know antique dealers use some kind of mix of turpentine and mineral oil to clean up old pieces, I think it is, and I can find that one out to use.

But, I totally agree, IF these were antiques I wouldn't dare touch them as it lowers the value. These are '50's made pieces. One, in fact, is so modern that it could be made today, surprisingly.

***Anyone know that mix with turpentine that antique dealers use to clean up their furniture?
I don't know that there is an easy answer to what should be used to clean old furniture because the answer lies in what was used as a "finish" -- shellac, varnish, etc. I was always leary of using any "chemical" for cleaning preferring to use a mild soap & water solution -- Murphy's soap is good. A lot of things, including turpentine, can damage the surface beyond repair. (test in an out-of-the-way place first is a good rule of thumb.) Mineral Oil, BTW, is not really very good for anything other than maintaining a Wooden Cutting Board because it evaporates relatively quickly.

Anyway, included in my box of weapons are the following furniture waxes:

Fine Furniture Polish, Metal, Marble, Stone, Glass and Crystal Care from Antiquax (click on "Wood Care) -- Find at: Amazon.com: antiquax

BRIWAX -- Find at Amazon.com: BRIWAX CENTRAL BR-1-DB PASTE WAX 1LB - DARK BROWN: Home Improvement

black bison wax - Google Search

Oh! As we found out in another thread, the definition of "Antique" is not very clear. Officially 100 years old but not strickly held to. If the furniture was "quality" in 1950 it will have antique-like value despite its "youth."
__________________
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." ~(perhaps by) Yogi Berra
"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2010, 10:19 AM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Keim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Moscow
Posts: 1,128
RonBoyd is on the money with all his advice. Don't refinish if you want the furniture to have collectible value. Also, a good waxing can work wonders. The book I mentioned also has tips for a wide variety of finish "repairs." Why refinish if you can repair?

One that I have used is for furniture with blushing and/or surface stains: Dip some steel wool in cooking oil and rub it lightly over the surface of the piece. This has saved several pieces of furniture for me.

Reamalgamation was another nifty trick the book taught me. Gets rid of the scratches while keeping the old finish.
__________________
You can't enlighten the unconscious.
But you can hit'em upside the head a few times to make sure they are really out...
Keim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2010, 10:45 AM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,181
Years ago we refinished an old dresser and night stand that my grandmother had with some Homer Formbys kit. Both came out really good, though it was a bit of work. The dresser had some scratches and initials carved into it so something needed to be done. My mom told me that at some point the legs had been sawed off the dresser, so it's not like we ruined a valuable piece. Plus it's really neat to see how nice the furniture I had as a kid turned out.

I'm not sure how much antique value 1950s furniture has, but it sounds like starting off with some of the more simple suggestions would be the right place to start anyway.
__________________
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2010, 10:58 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
I'm not sure how much antique value 1950s furniture has, but ...
Nor do I, but...

1950's Retro Furniture - LoveToKnow Furniture
__________________
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." ~(perhaps by) Yogi Berra
"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2010, 02:27 PM   #15
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 654
Not to hi jack this thread but...
Has anyone had a fold down couch/bed in a travel trailer reworked?
I have a couch/bed in my camper that has to be the worst sleeping vessel imaginable. Not that I have ever slept on it but wouldn't want my worst enemy to have to.
Steve
__________________
Stevewc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2010, 04:57 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevewc View Post
Not to hi jack this thread but...
Has anyone had a fold down couch/bed in a travel trailer reworked?
I have a couch/bed in my camper that has to be the worst sleeping vessel imaginable. Not that I have ever slept on it but wouldn't want my worst enemy to have to.
Steve
Well, I can point you in a direction that may help. Let me Google that for you:

mattress topper - Google Search

Use this as a starting place and improvise. This would allow you to retain the couch.
__________________
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." ~(perhaps by) Yogi Berra
"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2010, 07:48 PM   #17
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,043
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
I am not a big fan of "refinishing" old furniture. For one thing, it lowers the value (sometimes tremendously) in the aftermarket. More importantly, the nicks, bruises, and general wear and tear are what "sentimental value" is all about.

A better solution (IMHO) is to simply give them a good waxing. The results may surprise you. Of course, you must use the best wax -- that used by antique dealers is a good place to look.

Anyway, I would start with that and then decide whether spending more money will enhance or detract from their value.
Agreed. I wax my antique furniture at least once a year (it also important to keep "feeding" the wood so that it won't dry out and crack). It requires a bit of elbow grease, but it brings the rich color out and gives it a good shine. If waxing is not enough, then I follow the following guideline to decide what to do next:

Furniture Care 101 and more decorating ideas, organizing tips, and homekeeping and cleaning solutions on marthastewart.com

All my pieces of furniture has nicks and scratches but I think it's part of their character. Sometimes, a scratch has to be tinted to blend in and for that I use:

http://www.howardproducts.com/restora.htm

When MIL bought her house, her wooden kitchen cabinets were all scratched and dull looking. She used the product above and her cabinets looked like new.
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2010, 07:05 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
I did look up turpentine mixtures to clean with and it is with linseed oil (not mineral oil). I remember the 3rd item was hot water, but some dealers I know use hot coffee which makes the item prettier they said.
__________________
Please consider adopting a rescue animal. So very many need a furr-ever home and someone to love them! And if we all spay/neuter our pets there won't be an overpopulation to put to death.
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2010, 07:07 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
Since you are usually talking about moving somewhere I would delay doing it . The furniture styles in different parts of the country vary and after you pay to move it you may not want it anymore . I know this from experience . I moved a huge dining set to Florida only to get rid of it in six months for lighter furniture .

That means someone else in Florida bought it?
__________________
Please consider adopting a rescue animal. So very many need a furr-ever home and someone to love them! And if we all spay/neuter our pets there won't be an overpopulation to put to death.
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2010, 07:58 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,033
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower View Post
That means someone else in Florida bought it?

Nope , It landed in the salvation army with all the other discarded dark dining room sets .
__________________

__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Furniture Moemg Other topics 29 09-19-2008 10:53 AM
Sagging furniture sales? UncleHoney Other topics 7 01-28-2008 06:38 PM
Tip on purchasing furniture chinaco FIRE and Money 20 04-05-2007 12:26 PM
Need Help Stripping Furniture haha Other topics 17 01-29-2007 03:30 PM
Furniture Whisper9999 FIRE and Money 31 08-21-2004 07:02 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:57 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.