How to Tell If Wood Furniture Is Worth Refinishing

Is Wood Furniture Worth Refinishing

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In our homes or offices, the majority of us have that wood furniture we inherited from our grandparents or got from a thrift store shopping, garage sale hunting, etc. that isn’t in its best shape and thought to ourselves – “I’ll just have this refinished, it will be as good as new”.

Most times, people with wood furniture like this, will always want to restore it to its original glory, maybe because of the sentimental value it holds.

Therefore, in such a case where the furniture holds a great personal value to you than its monetary value, refinishing will be a good chance to style it to match your home’s décor.

It’s important to know when a furniture repair is necessary as opposed to when it’s time to be thrown away. To be able to decide on this – you’ll have to read on.

The Construction Standard

The first thing to do is to consider if your wood structure is of a high-quality build. Wood furniture’s created between 1850 and 1960 are considered antiques (100 years old or older) and are ideal for refinishing. This is because they had a high construction standard at that time, they were made in a solid and studier way with high-quality materials than what we can find in most of today’s cheap furniture.

However, not only antiques are fit for refinishing, some of the other vintage piece produced after 1960 can be refinished but, must first be accessed by professional to ascertain if it’s worth restoring.

The Structure’s Sturdiness

Another way to tell if your piece is worth refinishing is by shaking the furniture, sitting on it, etc. If it isn’t sturdy, then it means the joints are weak and require regluing. This involves taken the furniture apart, removing the old glue, regluing, and assembling.

Laminated MDF

As said earlier, wood furniture manufactured from 1960 should be assessed properly before refinishing. This is because the quality of wood produced from that time was particle board or medium-density fiberwood (MDF) instead of solid woods.

This low-quality wood is a synthetically made wood coated with a wood laminate and is not ideal for refinishing.

Furniture Made With Wood Veneer Over Plywood

Some furniture made with wood veneer over plywood sometimes be refinished if and only if the wood veneer has not been damaged. Remember, the piece has to be sturdy and well made for it to be considered for refinishing.


Painted wood furniture may not be ideal for refinishing because the paint might be hiding a damaged piece. Furniture covered in varnish is safer, as varnish can’t hide damage such as holes, burns, etc.

Things to consider before refinishing.


If you have stumbled on wood furniture and still confused about the construction standard, sturdiness, or the type of wood. Consult an expert in furniture repair and refinishing to tell you if the piece is worth refinishing or not. Otherwise, if aren’t planning on a full restoration and only wish to paint over the old paint, then you could use these tips to set you on the go.