What is a Furniture Finisher?

A furniture finisher revitalizes and restores damaged, worn, or used furniture to a beautiful finish.

Grinders, sanders, chisels, steel wool, pumice, and sandpaper are used to restore the wood. Once finished, the furniture piece is finished with varnish, shellac, lacquer, stain, or paint.

What does a Furniture Finisher do?

Furniture finishers evaluate furniture to appreciate the extent of any damage and then decide upon an optimal method for restoration and the equipment that would be required for the job.

A furniture finisher sanding a piece of furniture.

When repairing damaged furniture, areas which are not to be finished are masked. Old finishes and damaged or deteriorated parts are removed, possibly using hand tools, stripping tools, dip baths, solvents, abrasives, steel wool, or sandpaper. Excess solvents are also removed.

Furniture finishers repair broken parts with screws, nails, glue, or putty. Cracks and depressions are filled and imperfections removed. Metal surfaces can be painted electrostatically or with a spray gun or other painting equipment. Usually, at least three coats are required.

The finish depends on such factors as the surface type and hardness of the wood. Possible finishes include wax, stain, oil, or paint. Furniture finishers spray, brush, or manually apply these products to the wood. Items are sanded lightly between coats. Warped or stained surfaces are treated to produce the desired colors and contours.

Surfaces are sometimes distressed with abrasives or woodworking tools to create an antique appearance and lacquer or other sealants are applied as well.

Are you suited to be a furniture finisher?

Furniture finishers have distinct personalities. They tend to be realistic individuals, which means they’re independent, stable, persistent, genuine, practical, and thrifty. They like tasks that are tactile, physical, athletic, or mechanical. Some of them are also artistic, meaning they’re creative, intuitive, sensitive, articulate, and expressive.

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What is the workplace of a Furniture Finisher like?

Employers will generally be furniture manufacturers, suppliers of wood, or construction companies. Self-employment is also an option.

Furniture finishers typically work indoors in a shop where there is sufficient light and ventilation. The noise levels can be high, and there is likely to be airborne sawdust and chemicals. Temperatures can be very hot (more than 90°F) or very cold (less than 32°F).

Most of the day is spent standing, and it is often necessary to bend and twist the body frequently. Working with high speed woodworking machinery carries some risk of injury. A protective mask and clothing may be necessary on the job; some lacquers emit unpleasant fumes and toxic chemicals could present a health hazard.

Furniture Finishers are also known as:
Furniture Refurbisher Furniture Repairer