How Much Does Furniture Restoration Cost?

Last Updated on January 26, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Furniture restoration and refurbishing old, damaged furniture is an expensive craft, but the results can dramatically increase the value and lifespan of your antique and vintage pieces.

How Much Does Furniture Restoration Cost?

The cost of furniture restoration depends on the type and extent of services needed. Refinishing worn or damaged wood surfaces starts at $300-$500 for a small piece.

Reupholstering a chair may run $500-$1,000 or more, while repairing broken parts or structure can add $200-$500 per repair. Complex restoration projects with extensive repairs, refinishing, and reupholstering can easily exceed $2,000-$5,000 or more.

According to Airtasker, the average cost of antique furniture restoration starts at $40 and can go up to $3,800. The cost of restoring furniture depends on the size and damage of the furniture. The website provides a list of furniture usually brought for restoration and their price ranges.

Yelp notes that small projects for surface-level repairs can cost between $75 to $400, while the cost of furniture refinishing and upholstery for large projects can cost $1,000 or more.

The Furniture Professionals writes that the website provides a price list for furniture restoration services, including the restoration of leather couches, recliners, and cushions. The hourly rate for in-shop repairs is $90, with a shop minimum of $75. The website also provides a list of furniture items and their refinishing costs.

Cost Ranges for Specific Furniture Restoration Services

Professional furniture restoration services come in a wide range of prices. Here’s a look at typical costs:

Refinishing and Wood Restoration

Refinishing involves stripping off the existing finish, repairing damage to the wood, and applying new stain, sealers, and protective top coats. Prices vary based on:

  • Size – Small items like side tables may cost $300-$700. The cost of refinishing dining tables is $800-$1,500. Large pieces like armoires can exceed $2,000.
  • Wood type – Common woods like oak refinish for $400-$800. More delicate woods like mahogany or intricate carved pieces may cost $1,000-$2,000 or more.
  • Extent of damage – Deep scratches, missing veneers, water stains or other major damage adds $200-$500 per repair.
  • Finish – Simple stain costs less than hand-rubbed lacquer at $150-$300 more.

Upholstery and Reupholstering

Reupholstering involves removing old fabric, rebuilding worn framing, replacing padding and springs, and installing new fabric. Prices vary based on:

  • Size – An accent chair may cost $500-$1,000 while a sofa can run $1,500-$3,000.
  • Fabric – Inexpensive vinyl or fabric runs $100-$200 per yard installed. Fine fabrics like silk can cost $800-$1,200 per yard.
  • Labor – Hand-sewn details, tufting, and intricate shapes increase costs. Expect to add $500-$1,500 or more for intricate labor.


Furniture repairs include replacing broken parts, re-joining loose joints, or addressing major structural issues. Common repair costs:

  • Legs/rails – $100-$300 per leg to splice, replace, or repair. Similar for rails, rollers, rockers.
  • Joints – $200-$500 for extensive joint repairs.
  • Missing pieces – $300-$1,000 to replace missing or damaged ornamental pieces like finials.
  • Major damage – $500-$2,000+ for large repairs like broken frames, table leaves, or damaged veneers.

Factors That Influence Furniture Restoration Costs

Many variables affect the cost and complexity of furniture restoration:

  • Age and wear – Heavily worn antique furniture requires more work.
  • Previous repairs – Re-doing poor quality repairs takes extra effort.
  • Historic styles – Intricate hand-carved pieces cost more.
  • Size and scale – Larger pieces use more materials.
  • Sentimental value – Heirlooms warrant a higher investment.
  • Desired use – Daily use furniture needs durability.
  • Accessibility – Difficult to reach areas cost more.
  • Rush jobs – Faster turnarounds increase labor costs.

DIY vs Professional Furniture Restoration Costs

DIY refinishing may cost $50-$300 depending on materials and tools needed. But results often look amateurish.

Professional services start around $500-$1,500 for basic refinishing or reupholstering and go up significantly for intricate antiques. But you’re paying for specialized skills and quality results.

Other factors:

  • Time investment – DIY takes weeks of work versus days for professionals.
  • Workspace – DIY requires space for stripping/refinishing work. Professionals have dedicated workshops.
  • Experience – Years of expertise affect the quality of results.
  • Risk of damage – DIY has a greater chance of accidentally harming the piece.

You might also like our articles about the cost of window reglazing, couch reupholstering, or chair reupholstering.

For rare or delicate antiques, hiring a pro is usually worth the cost to protect your investment and get quality outcomes. But for simpler modern furniture, DIY can save money.

The Value of Professionally Restoring Antique Furniture

Investing in professional restoration for valuable antique or vintage furniture often increases resale value and marketability. Desired qualities like:

  • Structural integrity
  • Authentic materials and design
  • Quality of repairs and refinishing
  • Faithfulness to the era and style

All boost antique value significantly. Pieces with poor or amateurish repairs or alterations have lower desirability on the market.

Of course sentimental value also comes into play. An heirloom handed down for generations warrants preservation. Even at high cost, the intangible value justifies restoring it for generations to come to appreciate.

Tips for Reducing Furniture Restoration Costs

Furniture refinishing before afterTo minimize expenses on your furniture restoration project:

  • Shop around – Get quotes from 3-5 restorers to compare pricing.
  • Negotiate – Ask if any services can be dropped to save costs.
  • Prioritize – Only restore key focal pieces if budget is limited.
  • Consider DIY – Refinish non-delicate modern pieces yourself.
  • Use affordable fabrics – Save on yards needed with patterned upholstery fabrics.
  • Repair don’t replace – Fix loose joints before they worsen and require replacement.
  • Maintain finishes – Clean and re-coat finishes regularly to avoid full refinishing costs down the road.

How to Choose the Right Furniture Restoration Professional

To select the best restoration expert for your project:

  • View past work – Ensure they have experience with similar furniture styles and time periods.
  • Check references – Ask about quality, timeliness, and communication from past clients.
  • Look for specialties – Seek an expert in the specific material/finish of your piece.
  • Confirm turnaround time – Get completion timeframe in writing. Rush fees often apply.
  • Request an itemized quote – Understand exactly what is included and potential added costs.
  • Inspect credentials – Look for certifications, licenses, membership in professional organizations.
  • Trust your instinct – Go with a restorer you feel confident will treat your furniture with care and skill.

Maintaining Restored Furniture

To avoid future restoration costs after a makeover:

  • Keep wood furniture out of direct sunlight to prevent fading.
  • Use furniture coasters and mats to prevent scratches and water damage.
  • Dust regularly with a soft lint-free cloth.
  • Clean wood with mild cleanser and re-apply protective coatings annually.
  • Vacuum upholstery frequently and clean stains immediately to prevent set-in damage.
  • Avoid letting pets scratch or gnaw on wood or fabric.
  • Lift pieces instead of dragging to prevent leg, joint, and structural damage.

With proper ongoing care and maintenance, your restored furniture can remain beautiful and functional for decades to come. Understanding restoration costs helps inform repair and refurbishing decisions that protect your investment in these timeless pieces.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth restoring old furniture?

Restoring old furniture can absolutely be worth the investment if:

  • The piece has financial value as a collectible or antique that restoration would enhance.
  • The item has deep sentimental value or family history you want to preserve.
  • The existing structure and materials are fundamentally strong and worthy of revitalizing.
  • The cost of quality restoration is less than the cost of purchasing a comparable replacement piece.

The value is in extending the life and restoring the beauty of well-made furniture, preserving its history, and enjoying it for many years to come through restoration.

Is it cheaper to refinish furniture or buy new?

With quality materials and labor, refinishing and reupholstering good used furniture generally costs $500-$2,000 on average.

The price of furniture with similar materials and construction often ranges from $1,000-$5,000 or more.

So in many cases, restoration proves cheaper than replacement, keeping furniture out of landfills as an eco-friendly bonus.

But inexpensive DIY makeovers or poor quality restoration work won’t withstand years of use.

Prioritize quality materials and craftsmanship to maximize the long-term value of restored furniture.

How do I know if my furniture is worth restoring?

Factors that make furniture worth restoring include:

  • Quality materials – Solid wood, avoid particle board or cheap veneers.
  • Good bones – Sturdy underlying structure without major damage.
  • Handcrafted details – Indicators of fine woodworking and labor.
  • Collectability – Desirable eras like mid-century modern and antiques.
  • Sentimental value – Family history or emotional connection.
  • Monetary value – Valuable as an antique or vintage collectible.
  • Cost vs replacement value – Restoration cost is less than the price of a comparable new piece.

Carefully evaluate these factors to determine if restoration is a wise investment that preserves the life, function and value of your quality wood furniture.

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