Few pieces of modern furniture can compare with the beauty, history and workmanship of a genuine antique. Unfortunately, over time your furniture will have to deal with a lot of wear and tear. Scratches and tears, sun fading and other damage will start to take its toll. And at a certain point, no matter how much you love it, a piece of furniture may reach the end of its useful life.
While you may be tempted to throw it away and replace it with something new, there’s a better way. Furniture restoration can be a practical and cost-effective way to give new life to a much loved table or chair.
Let’s have a look at some of the reasons why restoring old furniture can be the way to go.
It can be cost-effective
Whether you already have an old piece or you’ve found an op-shop treasure, it can be significantly cheaper to restore or repair an old piece of furniture than replace it with something new.
If you’re redecorating a room and the piece of furniture doesn’t match, you could consider restoring it rather than spending on a new piece. Maybe all it needs is reupholstering, repainting, sanding and restaining or simply new draw pulls to fit in perfectly with the new design scheme.
A lot of this work can be simple DIY jobs you can do at home for far less than the cost of a new piece of furniture. Even getting a professional to reupholster your furniture can be cheaper than buying something new to suit your purposes.
While there are cheap furniture options available, remember that you get what you pay for. Just because furniture is old doesn’t mean its life is over. If it is of good quality, you can easily get another decade or more out of it. And, if you can get a piece of furniture looking like it originally did, you can even sell it for profit.
Save the environment
Giving a second life to an old piece of furniture is good for the environment. You’re using fewer resources when you avoid purchasing a new product. And by holding on to the old piece, you’re reducing the amount of waste that’s sent to landfill.
When you choose to restore rather than buy new, you’re also reducing the demand for timber. Remember, every little bit counts when it comes to helping the environment.
Create something unique
A great thing about refurbishing furniture is that you can customise it and create a unique piece of furniture. Turn that worn old armchair into an eye-catching centrepiece simply by reupholstering it with funky, on-trend patterns.
With a little carpentry know-how (or some help from the furniture pros), you can even modify your furniture to suit specific requirements. If storage is scarce, why not build storage into your bed frame? If your couch sits too low, swap out the legs for some longer ones. The possibilities are almost endless.
Continue a legacy
With a little care, a good-quality piece of furniture can last for generations. Passing on treasured furniture is a great way of sharing family history. But it does take a little work. Whether you inherited it from your grandparents or you want to leave it to your grandchildren, any piece of furniture that is expected to span generations will likely need a little help. That could mean reupholstering or repairing the structure, sanding and staining or any other repair and maintenance work.
Questions to ask before restoring
While restoring furniture is a great idea, it’s not always the best option for every piece of furniture. Before you break out the paint and sandpaper, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the furniture of a high quality?
If a piece is made of high-quality timber, it will likely be sturdy and last for decades, withstanding knocks with ease. However, if it’s made from cheaper composite, it may start to show signs of wear and tear after only a few years. In several more years, it may be completely unusable.
Your money may be better spent purchasing a higher quality piece of furniture rather than making over cheap furniture.
- Do you want to retain the original look of the piece?
You have the control when it comes to restoration. For instance, you could just sand and restain the wood to make it look brand new again. You also could easily repaint it and change any fittings. The end result may be quite different from the original.
If the piece is an antique, it’s generally best to try to restore to original condition using original materials. Try to do some research into the furniture’s history. This will help you determine what kind of restoration would most benefit the piece without compromising the integrity or value.
On the other hand, if it’s not a valuable or legacy piece, but it’s too good to throw away, then an overhaul may be the best way to get the result you want.
Before you purchase new furniture, take a moment to consider if you have everything you already need. Restoration can be a great way to save money and the environment while getting exactly the piece you want.