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Q – How do I know if my piece of furniture is worth the cost of refinishing?

A - There are numerous factors one should consider before investing in a complete refinish job. The list below offers a few key points, which may be helpful in determining if refinishing is right for your situation:

  • Purchasing items at garage sales or flea markets with the intention of fixing them and reselling for a profit is a great idea but these items are usually not good candidates for a full Furniture Rescue refinish. In many cases the cost is far more than what the item is worth. If  you can do the work yourself, you may be able to sell your item for a profit.
  • Finding an item at a sale or flea market, you absolutely love and want to keep, is a different story. In this case the cost of refinishing may be worth it, especially if the piece is a match to something you already have or is a unique item that cannot be purchased new.
  • Restoring family heirlooms is generally a good idea, especially if you plan to pass them on to posterity. Most of us form strong sentimental attachments to family heirlooms and would never consider selling them, so restoration makes perfect sense. Do keep in mind (in the event you would ever sell your heirloom) that antique appraisers and dealers don’t pay for sentimental value.
  • If you have an extremely rare antique, which still bears its original finish, we recommend you seek the advice of a certified antique appraiser BEFORE refinishing. In certain situations, depending on current condition, style and the age of the piece, refinishing can actually diminish the value.

Q – Can you tell me what my antique is worth?

A - No. We repair and refinish furniture. While we know a great deal about antiques and may even know your piece by name and maker, we are not accredited to appraise antiques. We recommend you contact a professional accredited antique appraiser; one who has been trained in, and adheres to, the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)  To find an accredited appraiser visit the Appraisers National Association website at http://www.ana-appraisers.org

Q - Do you do upholstery work?

A – Only basic and simple jobs like a padded dining chair bottom or a small footstool with a padded top. We do not specialize in upholstery work, so items like sofas, love-seats and recliners are best left to the professionals. We recommend ABC Upholstering Company at 502 S Brownell Avenue, Joplin, MO   417.624.6856 

Q – I have an entire set of matching furniture but only one piece needs to be refinished. Can you make it match my other pieces?

A - Yes, in most cases we can.  Custom color matching or stain matching is something we do almost daily. It’s important to note that while color matching is not an exact science, it does require a keen eye and extensive knowledge of wood types and grain patterns. We never promise to create a perfect match as there are numerous (and often unknown) factors that can effect color outcome. We do promise that we can get very close to the original color; so close that an untrained eye would never notice any difference!

Q – What process do you use to strip furniture?

A – We do not use a dipping vat. This process involves submerging the item in a vat of stripping chemical. Although effective, it can be very damaging to the wood and especially harsh on very old or delicate pieces. We use a Flow-Over System. Furniture is placed in a large, shallow stainless steel tray, which is elevated on one end. Stripping chemical is applied through a low pressure hose, then the item is gently scrubbed by hand with a soft bristled brush, to remove the old finish. The dirty solution runs off and is gravity-fed into a containment tank at the low end of the tray, ensuring the least possible amount of contact time with the wood. Following this process the furniture is moved to another identical tray where it is high-pressure rinsed with clean water to remove all traces of the stripping chemical, then allowed to air-dry (preferably in the sun)

Q – What if I want to do the job myself, but not the stripping, do you offer stripping only? 

A – Absolutely! We appreciate anyone who is ambitious enough to do what we do. Stripping is generally the most difficult part of attempting a furniture refinish job at home. We’ll strip it for you, then you get the satisfaction and bragging rights for completing the job!

Q – Why don’t you give estimates over the phone? 

A - It’s nearly impossible for us to give an accurate figure over the phone. We take great pride in being honest and thorough when providing estimates. In fact, it really isn’t an estimate at all– it’s a bid; meaning, if the work takes us longer than we thought… too bad for us. The customer is still only obligated to pay the initial amount agreed upon.

Q – I have a piece of furniture that was painted. I stripped it but traces of paint still remain in the grain. Can you get the rest of the paint out?

A - In some cases we can. We use a commercial stripping chemical that generally does a much better job than the products available at your local hardware store. If paint was applied directly to bare wood, especially lead-based, or oil-based paint, it may actually have absorbed into the grain. Traces of paint may remain even with multiple stripping applications and deep sanding.  In this instance, the only option is to apply a stain, which is dark enough to cover the remaining traces of paint. If paint was applied OVER an existing varnish or polyurethane finish, there will usually be no traces of paint left after stripping. The old finish actually served as a sealer, which kept the subsequent coats of paint from absorbing into the pores of the wood.