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How Do I Become a Furniture Refinisher?

Yard sales are good places to find cheap furniture in need of refinishing.
Furniture refinishing may include staining wood pieces.
A wooden dining set may be one type of furniture that can be successfully refinished.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2014
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If you want to become a furniture refinisher, a great way to start is to study books on the subject. You won't even have to buy them if you can borrow some from your local library. You can also read articles online from furniture makers and other experts as well as attend woodworking workshops in your community. Taking furniture refinishing courses in your area is another option, but even if there are none, you can still become a furniture refinisher by studying all of the available materials on the subject as well as trying out the techniques.

Start on old furniture that nobody wants. Oftentimes, you can get cast-off furniture pieces if you ask family, friends and neighbors. Flea markets and garage sales are other great sources of cheap furniture to practice refinishing. Under layers of paint, there may be quality wood or just scrap wooden pieces — either way you'll get scraping experience.

Depending on the type of furniture refinishing you'd like to do, you may want to experiment with different painting techniques on inexpensive pieces and bring out the wood grains on quality items. Some people who want to become a furniture refinisher paint old items and turn them into beautiful show pieces that others want to buy. A local furniture store or crafter's gallery may be interested in such works.

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Remember that no matter what techniques you use to refinish furniture, they have to appeal to buyers. If you hope to become a furniture refinisher in order to earn an income, you'll have to find a market for your work. Promotion is also important. Getting your refinished pieces into local furniture showrooms may be your goal if you hope to sell items on a regular basis.

You'll need to not only understand and have practiced furniture stripping, restoration and painting techniques, but also have the necessary equipment as well as space in which to work. Don't go overboard and spend too much money on supplies, or you may not have much profit to show in the first few weeks. If you want to become a furniture refinisher, start small and grow your business by continuing to understand what your targeted buyers want.

After you have studied and learned different techniques hands-on, it's a good idea to get business cards printed as well as have a website showing photographs of your work. When approaching furniture stores with your marketing materials, make sure to speak with the manager only. If you want to become a furniture refinisher who works successfully, you shouldn't waste valuable business time meeting with an employee unless he or she is an authorized decision maker when it comes to purchasing products for the store.

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