Furniture restoration is the art of taking an old, out of date, worn piece of furniture and changing elements of the finish until the piece looks new again.
This has become more popular in recent years both as environmental concerns increase public taste for recycling, and as economic challenges force people to save furniture they already own instead of purchasing new.
Almost any item of furniture can be restored, but the best candidates are older pieces made of solid wood, with joined or mitered joints. These pieces are well constructed and will endure for years to come in any finish. Sofas, tables, and chairs can all be restored, but there is perhaps no piece of furniture more adaptable, or more suited to restoration and redesign, than the dresser.
Far from being a simple set of drawers to collect clutter, dressers can be finished to look at home in any room of the house. They can hold art supplies, linens, clothes, towels, dishes, or even tools. Starting with a sturdy, basic structure, a dresser redesign can add personality to let a dresser blend in to any décor or add punch and flavor to any room.
The most simple design change that can be made to a dresser is the finish. Paint can be stripped off to the wood underneath. After a good sanding, any color or stain you can imagine can be applied. Stencils, cutouts, textures, and more add fun and an unexpected look. If coordination with existing furniture is important, the finish can be easily color matched to an identical shade.
Next, the hardware, knobs, or pulls on the dresser can be changed. Very old knobs often have unique character that is quite beautiful, but they may be broken or lost. More recent hardware may have a plain and dated look that makes the dresser less attractive. Thankfully there is no end of options when it comes to dresser hardware. You can choose pulls in any shape, style, size, color, or width you can dream of, including matching those on furniture you already own.
Finally, you shouldn’t overlook the feet or legs of the dresser. These tiny details are not often noticed directly but they add a lot to the overall feel and character of the piece. Round and chunky or thin spindles, wood or metal, tall or not there at all, legs are an important part of the furniture. Even changing the color of the legs can add an interesting element to an otherwise drab dresser.
When you begin a furniture restoration project, it’s important to choose a professional who has the knowledge and expertise to properly care for your furniture. Choose someone who has been in business a long time. Make sure your furniture restorer is accredited. It will probably be helpful for you to choose someone who offers furniture pickup and delivery, as well. Check references. There are many professionals who can offer you all these things and more when it comes to your project. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. They’re there to help and are happy to do so.