The Labor Factor
The charge for labor by a trained expert to refinish a piece of furniture comprises a significant amount of the total refinishing cost. So, it makes sense that the existing condition of an item determines the amount of time a skilled professional requires to refinish a specific piece; extensive labor equals a higher price tag. Check to see if stripping the item of its original paint, stain or other coating is included in the refinishing cost, and don't assume that just because a piece is small, it will cost less to refinish than a larger item. For example, a child's antique chair with intricate carving may necessitate more labor hours to refinish, as compared to a large table with simple lines.
Location and Economy
Your geographic location and the current economy play a role in determining the average price for refinishing furniture. The cost of professional services, including expert furniture refinishing, often comes with a heftier price tag in big cities, as well as in extremely rural areas. Furniture refinishing professionals typically set their rates to compete with other local experts that offer similar restorative services. According to basic economic principles, when the demand for a specific item or service, such as refinishing furniture, increases, the cost of that service will go up.
Read the Fine Print
When you're discussing the refinishing costs with a professional, ask questions about additional charges. For example, if your furniture requires repair work prior to refinishing, the repair is generally counted as a separate ticket item. Specialty work, such as having the refinishing professional match an exact stain color on your piece, is time-consuming, and the time it takes to research stain tacks an additional cost onto your final price tag. Also, plan ahead if you need a piece refinished by a specific date. Refinishing a piece can take between three to eight weeks, or even longer, and putting a "rush" on the refinishing process escalates the cost.
Ways to Save
Even though you hire a professional to refinish your furniture, you can still reduce the total cost. For example, save the additional charges for pick-up and delivery by transporting the pieces yourself. Acquire refinishing bids from two or more professionals to compare and select the lower price quote if you're pleased with the work of both pros. Ask for a quantity discount when you need two or more pieces refinished, and inquire about bartering for refinishing services in lieu of a cash payment. For example, trade your auto mechanic expertise to fix the refinishing expert's broken automobile in exchange for his refinishing your furniture. Alternatively, you can tackle the furniture project yourself by purchasing a comprehensive refinishing kit that includes everything you need.