Should You Refinish Your Furniture?

should you refinish your furniture Before you do something permanent to a piece of furniture, it is always good to make sure you have exhausted all options available.  Sometimes all that’s standing between you and that mistake is the experience of others. Refinishing your furniture is one decision you need to review several times before you act on it. It is a critical decision. If you are wondering if you should refinish your furniture, here are a few things to consider before you do it:


Some furniture is not worth refinishing. If your furniture is constructed from particleboard, veneer over plywood or even Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), refinishing it will be a waste of time and resources. Less expensive furniture made in the last three or four decades is often made from these materials. It may look like wood, but it is not. Even painting the furniture will not last long, because paint won’t adhere well to the smooth plastic-like surface.


Before you refinish the furniture, ask yourself what value is it at the time and what value will it get after refinishing. Refinishing is a value addition, and if the furniture doesn’t increase in value after refinishing, then it might not be worth it.

If the furniture is a unique designer antique or a valuable antique, don’t refinish it. You might end up destroying the value of the furniture. Do an internet search on designer markings on old furniture before you refinish it. If it has a lot of value, get a professional in antique preservation to evaluate it to determine if refinishing is a good idea. If the piece you want to refinish has sentimental value, the best thing to do is leave it like it is or get a professional to do the refinishing.  Someone who can determine the wood and the original color before refinishing.

Paint vs. Stain

Now that you have decided to refinish the furniture, you’ll also need to learn what kind of finish to use. Some people will tell you never to paint a piece of furniture made from solid wood. However, it all depends on the look you want. If you don’t like it the way it is, change it. You own the piece, and there is no need to stay with something you don’t want while you can easily repaint it and make yourself happy.  Paint if the wood is damaged.  Scratches, gouges or discoloration in the wood that cannot be sanded off will show through stain, but paint will cover up all those imperfections.

So, before you jump right in decide to refinish a piece of furniture, step back and think about it because once done there is no going back.