Refinishing Antiques – Does it Decrease Value?


A common worry amongst antique furniture collectors is that refinishing a piece could reduce its value and appeal. While this may be true of extremely old, precious museum antiques, it is rarely the case for less rare furniture.

Damaged Antique Furniture

It is understandable to worry about having a damaged item refinished or repaired. Old pieces in poor condition may appear frail, and therefore it can feel risky to tamper with them. However, a professional antique specialist, such as Abbey Antiques, can restore the beauty of an antique and provide a finish that enhances its quality, appeal and protection.

It is unlikely that very old furniture will be without some wear and tear or knocks. If an item loses its protective qualities, refinishing plays an essential role in maintaining the value.

Using Antique Furniture

Many antique experts encourage its light use. The majority of those in possession of these items are not immediately looking to sell. They often want to retain or boost the value. Although antique furniture is often used primarily as visual items, there is no reason not to use them. It is important to understand that this should be done with some caution.

Antique furniture should not sit in direct light as this will fade the surface and hinder the quality, drying it out and causing cracks. You should also ensure you use the correct cloths and products when cleaning the furniture. Bleaches and rough scrubbers will almost certainly damage the material.

Faults or Character?

A well used and aged item of furniture may have scratches, cracking, fading and faults. While this can certainly add character to your piece, refinishing will help to protect it from further damage. The best way to get the most from your antique furniture is to consult an antique specialist.

Benefits of Refinishing

Furniture refinishing can help bring worn pieces back to life, covering scratches and minor damage. It can actually improve the value of an antique item, particularly if it is somewhat damaged. It could be difficult for a potential buyer to see the true beauty if it appears worn. Refinishing gives it an injection of life and can enhance its longevity.

Contact Us

It is important to seek professional advice before attempting antique furniture repairs or refinishing. For more information on our services at Abbey Antiques, contact us on 01708 741135.