As wood furniture pricing goes up, unfinished pieces can sometimes give you more value for your money
Unfinished furniture operations began popping up on the retail landscape some years ago, in addition to the long-standing custom and mom-and-pop shops. These became massively popular and remain so today. If you have browsed the aisles of these stores, you may have received sticker shock. Yes, these unfinished pieces are quite pricy. There are reasons for that - and also good reason to make that investment in an unfinished piece.
Before you buy, follow the same advice as shopping for Oriental rugs and other valuable items - avoid sellers who are at a temporary location. You want to be able to trust the merchandiser. Always ask about guarantees and returns, too.
Unfinished furniture gives you the advantage of a pure inspection. If there are flaws, they'll show. Inspect each piece for defects, including knotholes and discolored areas (unless those are naturally-occurring in the piece you want). Stained and painted furniture has the advantage of hiding these issues, which can show up weeks and months later when it's too late.
With the many products available today, it's easy to finish your own furniture to exacting perfection. You'll find expert advice from the retailer as well as excellent pointers and step-by-step instructions at your local home improvement stores or through web sites. Look around, take brochures, and you'll find an exhausting array of colors and finishes that will most certainly be an almost-perfect match to existing furniture.
You can also branch out a little with your unfinished pieces. Stenciling, trim, two-toning, and embellishments can make an interesting piece really stand out. These, too, are easy to accomplish with all the latest in supplies. Start small, if you want to practice first, perhaps with an end table. Finish a small successful project and you'll be ready to move on to such items as night stands, dressers, rocking chairs, and coffee tables.
Remember, too, the satisfaction of a job well done. You will probably have saved some money (when compared to already finished furniture) and you can be proud of a piece that should last for generations.
If you're unsure about taking on the project yourself, the retailer may offer those services or you can ask for references to custom finishers.
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