Furniture Finisher

Strip and stain antique furniture to bring it back to quality condition.
picture of Furniture Finisher

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$19,000 – $42,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Furniture Finishers do?

The finish on a piece of wooden furniture is the last thing to be applied, and often the first thing to come off. As a Furniture Finisher, you may work with new furniture, determining how to make the natural grain of the wood shine through. Or you may work with very old furniture, attempting to restore the pieces to their former glory.

Furniture Finishers spend a lot of time in a workshop or manufacturing facility. If you’re a Furniture Finisher working with new furniture, you stain or varnish it, and while it dries, you sand other pieces to prepare them for finishing. If you’re working with old furniture, you use solvents and chemicals to remove old paint and varnish. Prepare to be heartbroken about the decorating decisions people made in the 1970s.

Removing burnt sienna paint can be tricky. You may be required to disassemble the furniture, and do so without breaking it. To remove deep stains and repair warped wood, you may use sanders or other tools. You may paint the furniture by hand or use a spray gun.

You’re an expert at dealing with a variety of wood. You know which stain and varnish to apply, and how to apply it, to get a glowing look that will last. You also feel comfortable working with chemicals and solvents for long periods of time, and standing on your feet all day long doesn’t trouble you. At times, you may be rewarded for your patience with special-order commissions, where you can show off your creativity and expertise.


Should I be a Furniture Finisher?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Antiquer, Furnishings Conservator, Furniture Finisher Apprentice, Furniture Finishing Technician, Furniture Polisher See More

    How to become a Furniture Finisher

    Most Furniture Finishers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9aaaaa&chl=no+college+%28100%25%29|||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,100,100
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