Restoring Your Antique Bedroom Furniture

Whether you’ve invested in a lovely set of antique bedroom furniture, inherited an heirloom collection or got lucky at a flea market, fixing up a collection of antique bedroom furniture presents questions that aren’t found with new furniture.

Asking Before Tasking

The first question is how much is too much? Refinishing antique bedroom furniture can reduce its value. A quick investigation into its history and worth can provide this answer. Check for the mark of the manufacturer or craftsman and any indication of the year it was made. If there is such information, do all of the pieces of your set match in this regard? If the furniture is valued because of its origin, having a matching set is that much more valuable.

How much refinishing does it need? Minor repairs shouldn’t diminish the value of the set and an ordinary cleaning won’t hurt at all. Except for the replacement of the parts that really enhance the value, restoring the furniture should be fine. If the set has faded hand-painted details, etched glass insets or one-of-a-kind hardware, think before replacing with something that matches the new lamps. If your idea was to have a bright orange bedroom set, check with an expert to make sure you’re not painting over your retirement fund.

Restore or Repair Once you’ve established that you’re not dealing with museum quality antique bedroom furniture, decide whether you want to restore, redesign or just repair the items. Even if the furniture is not valuable now, a true collectable can increase in value if cared for properly. Think twice about cutting a hole in the back of the armoire to run the television wires. Determine how much work the pieces need. If a leg is missing from an end table, there’s probably no reason not to replace them all. You don’t need to kill yourself matching hardware if the top of the dresser is rotted through. If you acquired the set because you like the period look, do the work or have it done. By all means, retain the unique character of the furniture. Even if it’s not worth a great deal of money, that unique character is a kind of value that antique bedroom furniture has. So first, determine the possible value. Second, decide how much repair is needed. Third, try to restore the antique bedroom furniture to its original glory. Fourth, if that’s not possible, resize, refinish, reuse. Although owning antique bedroom furniture is a responsibility to the ages, this stuff is yours. Enjoy.


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