Repair or Replace? What to Do with My Old Furniture

by | Mar 15, 2023

Old furniture sometimes evokes attachment because of the charm of its history.

You might have spilled something on that wooden table that was passed down to your grandfather and it has started to rot, or your children may have broken the arm of that rocking chair that your great aunt May inherited from her mother, or the leg broke when moving it…

And when the time comes to address the damage, you cannot decide whether to repair or replace it.

Yet, this choice is significant since it may affect your finances, emotions, and daily life. Therefore, before you decide whether to restore or replace your old furniture, consider the following factors.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Whether to Repair or Replace Old Furniture

Before deciding whether to replace or refurbish your old furniture, consider the below.

Factor Replace Restore
Age and Condition of the Furniture If the furniture is unrestorable. If an expert can repurpose the furniture with new finishes and modifications.
Quality of the Furniture If the furniture is not an antique and not worth much. If the furniture is of high quality and has sentimental value or is a rare antique
Cost of Repair Vs Cost of Replacement If repairs may be higher than the cost of replacing the furniture. If the cost of repairs is worth the modifications as the furniture holds a sentiment value.
Sentimental Value of the Furniture If the furniture has no sentimental value. In order to preserve the value and history of sentimental furniture, it may be worthwhile to repair it.
Environmental Impact If you cannot fix the furniture since it is beyond repair. If you can repair or reuse the furniture, it can help reduce waste and conserve the environment.

Why Repair Old Furniture?

You should repair your old furniture for a couple of reasons.

1. Preserve its Sentimental Value

Restoring old furniture can help preserve its sentimental value.

Often, old furniture pieces hold emotional attachments or are family heirlooms. Restoring them can help maintain their unique character and charm while keeping them functional.

2. Reduce the Environmental Impact

When you throw furniture away, it contributes to environmental waste and pollution.

This is because wooden furniture takes a long time to decay and, if burned, can emit hazardous chemicals and particle matter into the air, contributing to respiratory problems.

So, restoring it can help reduce waste and extend the piece’s life. Repurposing wooden furniture can also reduce the environmental impact since you will not be disposing of it.

3. Updated Style and Design

Furniture styles and designs can change over time, and what was once trendy may now look outdated.

Also, what you loved before may not bring joy when walking into a specific room.

For example, if you once preferred a traditional furniture style, you can now choose a more modern or minimalist look.

So by restoring old furniture with new finishes and modifications, instead of replacing it, you can update the look and feel of your living space to suit your style better or to keep up with current design trends.

4. Better Functionality and Comfort

Over time, wooden furniture can become worn out or damaged, affecting its aesthetics.

For example, a wooden chair that has lost its colour because of discolouration may lose its breathtaking appeal.

But with repurposing, we can replace or repair the joints and fasteners. We can also add in some modifications like sanding off the paint to expose the glorious wood beneath it.

Or we can reapply polish that will make you feel like you have stepped right into the vintage years.

Why Replace Old Furniture?

Here are two reasons you might choose to replace your old furniture instead of repairing it. These include

1. Changing Needs

Your changing needs may affect the furniture you are using.

For example, if you live in a small apartment, you may need to replace your loveseat with a larger sofa once you move into a bigger home.

Also, you may need to purchase a smaller couch or bed if you are downsizing. Therefore, as your needs change, you may need to replace the furniture you want with other pieces that add functionality to a room.

2. Decaying Wood

If your antique wooden furniture is decaying, then for safety reasons, you should replace it. This is because decay can weaken the wood and compromise the structural integrity of the furniture, making it unsafe to use.

For example, decaying wooden furniture weakens, making it unable to withstand the weight of people or things placed on it. With time, the furniture may become unstable or unsteady, making it more prone to tumble over or collapse. This could result in serious injury or property damage.

Consult With a Professional to Get an Expert Opinion

Once you understand when to restore or when to replace old furniture, you still need to go a step further.

This step includes getting a professional opinion. An expert brings in a fresh perspective on how to salvage the furniture, like which new finishes and modifications to add that suit your specific needs.

For instance, you may want to sell your grandmother’s old couch. However, an expert like Wild Woodworking, might decide restoring the couch is preferable for sentimental reasons.

Also, a professional could offer extra services if you decide to restore your antique furniture. These services include high-quality workmanship for repairs, and refinishing, as well as advice on how to keep your furniture in good condition for another 50 years.

So, if you’re unsure whether to repair or replace antique wooden furniture, don’t let this decision dictate how you spend your day

Instead, contact us for professional advice and let the experts guide you toward the best solution for your furniture needs.