Why Refinish?

September 10th, 2011 by M G

For many people, the choice whether to refinish or replace their furniture can be a puzzling question. With all the shiny new furniture pieces tempting you to purchase new, and the seemingly good deals available in stores everywhere, why would someone opt to refinish their original furniture, rather than replace it with new? Below are some questions and answers to help sort out the reasons why refinishing your furniture may be a wiser decision long term.



Q: Why should I refinish my mother’s dining room table when I can buy one at the store new for the same price or even cheaper?

A: To begin-with,  if it’s an older table, it’s likely Canadian made. Keeping our history alive is a great reason to refinish. There’s nothing like furniture handcrafted right here in Canada. Not only can you not put a price on the sentimental value, this type of furniture was made to last. Refinishing antique, or older furniture will give a well-built quality piece the longevity to last generations longer than our lower priced present-day furniture. When you refinish, it can become a family heirloom and as time goes by, the value of the piece will increase-meaning your investment can bring financial benefit to your family later in life.



Q: Refinishing can’t completely restore things like scratches, indentations and the like, right?

A:  Interestingly enough, marks and scuffs are often repairable, but we find that many customers view these marks as “character marks”. Often, these so-called imperfections are attached to a story or tale, and most customers want the marks left in the final finished piece.



Q: Is there a difference between the furniture my grandmother bought, and the ones I can purchase in the stores today?

A: Yes! With older furniture there is a huge difference in the level of quality as compared to our modern-day versions. This older furniture has Canadian wood in it, which has adapted to our climate and can be repaired easily, whereas most furniture you can buy at any department or big-box furniture store has been made out of wood from different countries, which tend to be softer and are not acclimated to Canadian weather. This type of furniture is not truly reparable, and so it must be replaced within a few years.



Q: What about furniture repair-is there anything that can’t be fixed?

A: As a third generation furniture refinisher here in Ontario Canada, I can say confidently that most Canadian-made and Antique furniture pieces can be repaired, while the newer “off-shore” furniture pieces cannot be adequately repaired.



Q: What is the number one reason you’d give for fixing-up or refinishing an old piece instead of replacing it?

A: Not only is the furniture piece solid and sturdy enough to be enjoyed by your family for the next few generations, it will also likely increase in value-providing an asset to those you pass it on to. Furniture that is well-built and made of excellent quality Canadian wood will be cherished for a long time to come.



Q: How does refinishing support the movement toward keeping things out of landfills?

A: Refinishing furniture to suit more modern decor, rather than purchasing new furniture and then disposing of it once it has expired or gone out of fashion keeps waste to a minimum. In addition, using furniture made in Canada by furniture makers who built things to last, removes the need to ship low-quality factory-built pieces from overseas to our stores here in Canada. It helps to end the cycle of purchase-discard-purchase that has become our country’s biggest reason for landfill problems.