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What is Involved in Professionally Restoring Wood Pieces?

Last Updated: December 11, 2023

Do you have an old table, chair or other piece of furniture that means a lot to you but has seen better days?

If so, having it refinished may be a good option. Any piece that is not broken or has no structural issues can be refinished to look like new.

The process, typically, includes sanding and stripping old paint or varnish off to get down to bare wood. Once the piece is stripped, it can be refinished using a varnish or paint.

Wood Furniture Restoration Costs #

The average cost to restore wood furniture ranges from $200 to $2,000+ depending on the size, type, condition, and restoration techniques used:

Small Furnishings

  • $100 to $500 per chair or table

Cabinets & Hutches

  • Dressers/cabinets: $300 to $1,500
  • Full hutch restoration: $800 to $3,000

Wood Surface Repairs

  • Scratch repairs: $50 to $300
  • Full refinishing: $200 to $1,000

Full Restorations

  • Includes repairing joints, replacing pieces etc.
  • $1,000 to $3,500 per piece

Antique & Specialty Restoration

  • Much more labor-intensive
  • $2,000+ per item

Wood Furniture Restoration Cost

Real-World Furniture Restoration Costs #

Here are some real-life examples of what wood furniture restoration projects have cost homeowners:

  • "I had a family heirloom antique oak table restored by a specialty studio. It had water rings, pet damage, and a cracked leg. The full restoration work cost $1,850." - Mary T., Florida

  • "I purchased a beautiful old mahogany desk at auction that needed some TLC. I spent $425 having it professionally stripped, sanded and refinished to get it looking great again." - Mark J., Ohio

  • "I had a set of 6 vintage dining room chairs re-caned, holes filled, light sanding and staining that cost $750 total. They repaired the frame holes and provided color matched stain." - Lauren S., Pennsylvania

  • "I had minor pet scratch touch up done on my antique buffet credenza. The technician sanded, filled scratches, restained and sealed for $345. Just the top and door fronts needed work." Kelly D., Texas

  • "A structural repair job on an heirloom wardrobe cost me $1,275. It involved replacing rotted wood panels, rebuilding the frame properly and custom staining." - James R., New Jersey

  • "I had a cherished childhood toy chest restored for $425 which included replacing broken joinery, hinge repair, stripping, staining and sealing." - Michelle P., California

Wood Furniture Restoration Process #

Restoring valuable antique or damaged wood furniture properly involves an extensive multi-step process. Key stages include:

Evaluation & Planning

  • Assess condition, needed repairs, historical accuracy
  • Create documented restoration plan


  • Carefully disassemble to access joints, interior areas
  • Label pieces for reassembly

Repairs & Reinforcement

  • Fix splits, replace missing/cracked wood
  • Reinforce joints and interior structure

Stripping & Surface Prep

  • Chemically strip old finish and residue
  • Patch holes, imperfections in wood

Sanding & Smoothing

  • Gradually sand wood using ultra-fine grit paper
  • Smooth wood ready for new stain/finish

Stain Application

  • Match historical stain color if possible
  • Allow to fully dry

Sealing & Protective Finish

  • Seal and finish wood properly for protection
  • May require multiple layers

Reassembly & Final Touches

  • Reassemble, attach hardware, fittings
  • Ensure proper functioning

A quality full restoration aims to preserve as much of the original wood as possible while repairing structural issues, stripping away wear, and enhancing natural beauty. This delicate process requires an experienced furniture restoration artisan.

Be sure to hire a professional furniture restoration company or artisan woodworker that specializes in antique woods and historical restoration methods. Avoid standard refinishing companies.

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