Make Money Restoring Old Wooden Furniture

Quite often people resort to buying brand new furniture when they could just restore their old items to looking as good as they did some years before. While this doesn’t work with all types of furniture, wooden furniture in particular is ideal for restoring back to its former glory.

Is this something you could do? You bet – because contrary to popular belief you don’t always need to be a joiner or an expert to be able to do this to a good enough standard to offer your skills to other people. It certainly pays to have some knowledge of course, but you don’t need to be a seasoned expert with years of experience to do a good job, although you will of course learn a lot as you become more established

Chairs, tables and countless other wooden items of furniture… they can all be given a new lease of life with just a little care and attention. The great thing about doing this for people is that you can also market your service as being environmentally friendly. After all, you are giving people the chance to renew their existing furniture without having to bin it. What’s more they will save money too – so that gives you two strong selling points.

Depending on the condition of each item of furniture, it may need restoring in different ways. Sometimes a simple rub down with sandpaper and a treatment with oil or varnish may be suitable, but do ask the owner for as much information as possible before you do anything. It helps to have some kind of estimate or sales note containing notes of what work is to be done before you begin, which you can then get the owner to sign beforehand.

Some items of furniture may be rickety and need strengthening, and in this case you may need to replace bolts or screws, and replace dowels if necessary. The important thing to remember is only to do what you feel confident in doing. You could always start by offering a basic service and taking a night school course to learn more. This would develop your skills and enable you to offer more services and earn more as a result.

Obviously you don’t want to get involved with genuine antiques as these quite often shouldn’t be touched at all. This is another reason for having the customer sign something before you start, disclaiming any responsibility for anything the owner has failed to tell you. This might sound a bit frightening but it’s merely a way of protecting both you and the customer.

It’s obvious that it helps to have a good rapport with people if you are going to start doing this, as it will enable you to get a lot of information from them that will come in useful. Find out what the existing finish is if they want you to refinish it; they may want you to remove it and do something entirely different instead.

Practice does make perfect in this case but it does help to get some of that practice in before you begin. If you have a couple of pieces of furniture you can practice on then it’s a good idea to do just that, making sure you try out a lot of different techniques in the process.

As for where you can do the work, your garage will make an ideal place to start, although you should make sure you aren’t contravening any local laws by working out of your home. A lot could depend on the noise and smells that your business generates. If it is a success think about renting a small unit for people to visit, as you can buy a few old items of furniture and restore them to show your skills. Perhaps you could even offer those for sale?

In short this is a great long term business if you learn the right skills to offer to your customers. When it’s done right, furniture restoration can be an indispensable tool to have in your armory.

Fancy having a go yourself? Leave us a comment below to let us know whether this would work for you, and then start by looking up some classes on furniture restoration in your area.


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