Is It Worth Restoring Old Furniture?

  • Discover how to assess if your old furniture is worth restoring by evaluating its antiquity, quality, physical condition, and sentimental value.
  • Learn the factors to consider before restoration, including historical significance, appraisal value, and whether to restore or revamp.
  • Understand the types of furniture that are especially worth restoring, such as wooden antiques, caned pieces, veneer furniture, and mid-century modern items.
  • Explore the benefits of furniture restoration, from enhancing aesthetic appeal and preserving historical value to contributing to environmental sustainability.

Restoring old furniture can be a rewarding process, both aesthetically and emotionally. Whether you have a cherished family heirloom or a unique antique find, deciding whether to restore a piece requires careful consideration. At Stevens Furniture Restoration, we specialise in bringing life back to treasured furniture, ensuring each piece is treated with the utmost care and expertise. 

In this article, we will guide you through the various factors to consider when determining if your furniture is worth restoring. First up we will go through the process of being able to tell if a piece of furniture is worth restoring, starting with assessing its antiquity.

How to Tell if Furniture is Worth Restoring

Deciding whether a piece of furniture is worth restoring involves several factors. By evaluating its antiquity, quality, physical condition, and associated costs, you can make an informed decision. Additionally, the sentimental value of the furniture plays a crucial role in this process.

Assessing Antiquity

The age of the furniture is a significant indicator of its potential value and worthiness of restoration. Antique pieces, typically defined as being over 100 years old, often possess unique craftsmanship and historical significance. These elements can make restoration a valuable endeavour. Stevens Furniture Restoration is well-versed in handling such antiques, ensuring that their historical integrity is maintained.

Evaluating Quality

Quality is a key factor in determining whether furniture is worth restoring. High-quality materials and construction methods, such as solid wood and dovetail joints, indicate that a piece was built to last. At Stevens Furniture Restoration, we look for these signs of quality, knowing that well-made furniture can be beautifully restored to its former glory.

Identifying Physical Damage

Assessing the extent of physical damage is crucial in deciding on restoration. Surface scratches, loose joints, and minor veneer issues are typically repairable. However, severe structural damage might complicate the restoration process. At Stevens Furniture Restoration, our experts can help you identify which damages can be feasibly repaired to restore both functionality and appearance.

Considering the Cost of Restoration

Understanding the costs involved in furniture restoration is essential. The complexity of repairs, materials required, and labour all contribute to the overall expense. While restoring high-quality or sentimental pieces can justify the investment, it is important to weigh these costs against the furniture’s value. Stevens Furniture Restoration provides detailed estimates to help you make an informed decision.

Sentimental Value of Furniture

The sentimental value of furniture can often outweigh its monetary value. Heirlooms and pieces with personal history hold emotional significance that makes restoration a worthwhile endeavour. At Stevens Furniture Restoration, we understand the importance of preserving these memories and strive to maintain the integrity of sentimental items through careful and respectful restoration.

Factors to Consider Before Restoring Furniture

Before deciding to restore furniture, it’s important to consider a range of factors. These include the historical significance of the piece, its current appraised value, the maintenance required, and whether to restore or revamp it. Each of these aspects plays a crucial role in determining the best course of action.

We will first look into the historical significance of furniture and why it matters.

Historical Significance

Furniture with historical significance often carries unique design elements and craftsmanship indicative of a particular era. This can enhance its value and desirability. Restoring such pieces can preserve an important part of history. At Stevens Furniture Restoration, we specialise in identifying and preserving these historical attributes.

Appraisal and Value

Having your furniture appraised can provide valuable insights into its market value and potential worth post-restoration. Professional appraisals can reveal hidden details about the piece’s origin and craftsmanship. Stevens Furniture Restoration can assist with these appraisals, ensuring you have all the information needed to make an informed decision.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Proper cleaning and maintenance are essential steps in the restoration process. Over time, furniture accumulates dirt and grime that can obscure its true condition. At Stevens Furniture Restoration, we employ specialised cleaning techniques to reveal the underlying beauty of your piece, ensuring it is ready for restoration.

Restore or Revamp?

Deciding whether to restore a piece to its original state or to revamp it with a new look depends on various factors, including personal preference and the piece’s historical value. Restoration maintains authenticity, while revamping can give a piece a new lease on life. At Stevens Furniture Restoration, we offer both options and provide guidance on the best approach for your furniture.

Types of Furniture Worth Restoring

Certain types of furniture are especially valuable and worth the effort to restore. These include wooden antique furniture, caned and wicker furniture, veneer pieces, upholstered items, bent plywood, mid-century modern furniture, and painted pieces. Each type has its own unique characteristics and restoration needs.

We will start by discussing the restoration of wooden antique furniture.

Wooden Antique Furniture

Wooden antique furniture often showcases exceptional craftsmanship and durable materials, making it ideal for restoration. Pieces made from solid wood can be repaired and refinished to reveal their original beauty. Stevens Furniture Restoration specialises in such restorations, ensuring that the historical and aesthetic value is preserved.

Caned and Wicker Furniture

Caned and wicker furniture, known for its intricate designs and lightweight structure, can be challenging to restore but is often worth the effort. Proper restoration can extend the life of these delicate pieces. Stevens Furniture Restoration has the expertise to handle such intricate work, ensuring durability and beauty.

Veneer Furniture

Veneer furniture features a thin layer of high-quality wood applied over a less expensive core. While veneer can suffer from peeling or chipping, skilled restoration can repair these issues and enhance the furniture’s appearance. Stevens Furniture Restoration provides meticulous veneer repairs, ensuring a seamless and polished finish.

Upholstered Furniture

Upholstered furniture combines comfort and style but often requires restoration due to wear and tear. Reupholstering can refresh the piece while preserving its original framework. Stevens Furniture Restoration offers expert reupholstering services, allowing you to choose fabrics that compliment your decor while maintaining the furniture’s integrity.

Bent Plywood Furniture

Bent plywood furniture, popular in mid-century designs, features sleek curves and modern aesthetics. Restoration of these pieces requires careful handling to maintain their structural integrity and design. Stevens Furniture Restoration has the experience to restore bent plywood furniture, ensuring its modern elegance is preserved.

Mid-Century Modern Furniture

Mid-century modern furniture is renowned for its clean lines and functional design. Restoring these pieces can enhance their value and appeal. At Stevens Furniture Restoration, we specialise in preserving the iconic look of mid-century modern furniture, ensuring each piece remains a statement of style and quality.

Painted Furniture

Painted furniture can suffer from chipping, fading, or outdated colours. Restoring such pieces involves careful stripping, sanding, and repainting to bring them back to life. Stevens Furniture Restoration excels in restoring painted furniture, offering a variety of finishes to suit your taste and decor.

Common Misconceptions About Furniture Restoration

There are several misconceptions about furniture restoration, including concerns about refinishing antiques and the impact on their value. Clarifying these misconceptions can help you make better-informed decisions about restoring your furniture.

We will begin by addressing whether it is okay to refinish antiques.

Is it Okay to Refinish Antiques?

Refinishing antiques is often thought to diminish their value, but well-executed refinishing can enhance both appearance and worth. The key is to ensure the refinishing respects the original craftsmanship. Stevens Furniture Restoration employs techniques that maintain or even enhance the value of antiques through careful refinishing.

Will Restoration Ruin the Value?

A common concern is that restoration might ruin a piece’s value. However, professional restoration, when done correctly, preserves or enhances the item’s value. At Stevens Furniture Restoration, we ensure that each restoration project is handled with care, maintaining the integrity and value of the furniture.

Get In Touch For An Estimate

If you’re considering restoring your old furniture, Stevens Furniture Restoration is here to help. Our team of experts provides detailed estimates and personalised advice to ensure your restoration project meets your expectations. Contact us today to discuss your needs and receive a professional assessment.


Deciding whether to restore old furniture involves assessing its antiquity, quality, physical condition, cost, and sentimental value. Understanding these factors, along with the benefits of restoration, can help you make an informed decision. Stevens Furniture Restoration is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the beauty and value of your treasured pieces, ensuring they continue to be cherished for years to come.