Furniture refinishing entails stripping old stain or paint; sanding wood; restoring original wood; repairing scratches, cracks and dents; applying new stain or paint; or all of these tasks. Professionals commonly help refinish tables, sofas, chairs, rocking chairs, desks, dressers, armoires, bed frames, cabinets, nightstands, coffee tables and end tables. Pros work with all kinds of wood, including oak, mahogany, maple, veneer, cherry, pine, rattan and more. Several factors affect the cost of furniture refinishing services.
Sanders, sanding pads and wood finishes are just some of the materials and equipment that professionals use to refinish wood furniture. A marginal portion of the cost for these items is included in the overall cost for services. For example, a spokesperson at Sevega Adriano Antiques Restoration and Wood Finishes in Los Angeles, California, says that 5 percent or less of a customer’s total bill reflects the cost of materials.
For standard jobs that don’t involve rare antiques or special circumstances, many furniture restoration pros can provide average costs for frequent jobs. Here are pricing examples from a couple different companies.
Sterling Customs in Denver, Colorado:
One dining room chair: $200–$250. Note that dining room chairs usually come in batches of six and require more labor than you might think.
- Dining room table measuring approximately 3x5 feet: $500–$600. Work includes completely sanding and refinishing the table top with up to four coats of finish and touching up the legs as needed.
- Dressers: $600
Broken table legs, missing chair backs and gouges in armoires all take time to rework and repair. The more damage a piece of furniture has, the more time and skill required for the repair work and the higher the price will be.
The size of a piece of furniture doesn’t always dictate cost. Items with extremely intricate detail, scroll work or delicate parts generally cost more to repair than simply constructed furniture pieces. The extra attention to detail and additional time required will lead to increased costs.
Changing the finish—from varnish to gold paint or cherry stain to oak stain, for example—may affect the total cost, as will requesting an exact color match. For example, matching new finish for a chair to an existing set can affect the total cost, especially if the professional has to do research to find the existing product.
Rare pieces and antiques may have a higher cost to refinish because additional care and precaution must be used to protect them.
Requesting a rush order for a furniture refinishing job may increase the total cost for work. Plan ahead to avoid additional costs associated with last-minute work orders.
Some professionals have a shop or studio where they work, and some may do refinishing work on-site at the client’s home or office. Some pros charge a pickup or delivery fee, which can vary depending on the size and delicacy of the item. Others charge a travel fee if they work at the client’s location. Here are examples of travel-related fees:
Sevega Adriano Antiques Restoration and Wood Finishes: $40 travel fee to work at the client’s location
- Sterling Customs: $50 pickup and delivery fee for short distances and $100 for longer distances, to be agreed upon with customer.
- Get a free estimate by sending photos of the furniture you want refinished. This way, the pro has a clear understanding of how much work will be required on the project.