Old Furniture? When To Restore And When To Replace It

On June 18, 2019 by Himanshu Shah

Furniture Maintenance

Furniture, like just about any other item, has a lifespan. It may not be as glaring as the expiration date listed on your carton of yogurt, but each of your pieces will eventually need to be replaced after showing signs of aging or wear and tear.

How do you know when to replace your beloved sofa, recliner or bed? We’ll get to that.

Here are some signs that will indicate your furniture may be well past its prime, as well as some tips to help you choose between replacing your furniture or attempting to have it restored to its former glory.

Signs Your Furniture Has Had It

First up, look at this checklist as you evaluate whether the time has come to update your pieces.

  • SofasIt may be time to replace that comfortable sofa where you binge watch Netflix if the cushions have lost their shape and no longer feel supportive or the fabric is stained or worn.
  • Dining Room Sets: If the table or chairs are severely scratched or there are noticeable burn marks from cooking wear and tear, it may be time to find a new dining set. The same rules apply if, for example, the size of your family has changed, or the table is too large or small to accommodate everyone comfortably.
  • Bed SetsA lot of focus is placed on the actual mattress itself, so we’ll get that out of the way first — the standard rule for replacing a mattress is every eight to 10 years based on lifestyle factors. As for the bed frame itself, notice any squeaking, splintering or sagging? Then it’s time for a change.
  • Dressers: Can’t seem to get the drawers to budge without monumental effort? Drawers that habitually fall off their tracks or a piece that has become wobbly and unbalanced needs to be traded out or fixed pronto to avoid safety issues.

So, now that you know the basic guidelines of what signs will pop up in aging furniture let’s move on to which materials will give you the least resistance should you decide to restore a piece.

Restore It

Restoring furniture makes sense for those pieces that hold sentimental value (think your mom’s old sewing cabinet), as well as any you love and don’t want to part with or that are considered antiques.

Here’s the thing, though: Even if you find a particular item to be super meaningful or a prized antique, the sad truth is not everything can be successfully restored.

Now, fabrics such as microfiber, wool, and leather are usually the easiest to restore through a good cleaning. These fabrics are known for their durability and are stain-resistant, so you may luck out and be able to get them back looking like new by cleaning them yourself or hiring a professional service to do so.

If cleaning doesn’t get the job done, having the item reupholstered may be the next best solution. However, this comes with the added step of ensuring the frame is still solid. This is where the biggest headaches can happen. Restoration experts say they often get customers who think just the outside fabric needs to be replaced, only to find out the structural integrity of the piece isn’t up to par once the fabric is removed.

Thus, an important thing to remember when restoring furniture is that things can quickly get expensive. General price guidelines say that a basic strip and refinish for a wooden dining room chair will run you around $200 while reupholstering can reach into the thousands.

Replace It

If you’re not ready to gamble with the time and cost of restoring a worn-out piece of furniture, then replacing it may be the easiest and certainly the most fun route to take. Circumstances such as elderly parents moving in or kids moving out can necessitate an update in your home’s décor.

Maybe you’ve recently gotten married or moved in with that special someone. In these cases, picking out a new bedroom set that you both love has a way of making your space feel that much more special.

Time to Shop

One of the best perks about purchasing furniture new is knowing upfront what you’re getting and the peace of mind that comes with it. There are many modern and reasonably priced furniture stores online, allowing you to browse to your heart’s content and figure out the perfect piece or sets for your lifestyle.

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