Furniture restorer

Furniture restorers repair and conserve modern and antique pieces of furniture.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter

to

£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed managing your own hours

How to become a Furniture restorer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • specialist short courses

University

You can do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • art and design
  • furniture design
  • furniture restoration
  • product design

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information

College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Furniture Making
  • Level 2 Diploma in Furniture Finishing Methods

Some colleges and adult education centres run more informal courses in craft and restoration. Courses include topics like repair methods, staining, veneers and French polishing.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You can complete an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in restoring furniture.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

Other routes

You can do short courses in woodworking skills and restoration techniques through the British Antique Furniture Restorers' Association.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about training and careers in furniture restoration and conservation through:

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to work on your own
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • concentration skills
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • working out the best way to conserve or restore a piece of furniture
  • advising customers on what work is needed and offering quotes
  • sourcing materials needed for a job
  • keeping photographic and written records
  • using techniques like woodturning, veneering and marquetry - designs using small
  • mixing and applying colours and stains gilding, polishing and upholstering items
  • sourcing materials
  • keeping photographic and written records

Working environment

You could work in a factory or in a workshop.

Your working environment may be dusty.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

You could set up your own furniture restoration business, carrying out work for organisations and members of the public, or work as a consultant for museums, auction houses, historical or heritage sites, or antique dealers. 

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Wood Machinist/Cabinet Maker

  • Wage : £148.00 Weekly
  • Location: Oldham OL9 6QH

Apprentice Upholstery Sewing Machinist

  • Wage : £148.00 Weekly
  • Location: Ilkeston DE7 5EP

Courses In England

Furniture Design and Making Level 3 Diploma

  • Provider: Chichester College Group
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Pulborough

C&G 5780-20 L2 Dip Furniture Making

  • Provider: Bridgwater and Taunton College
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Bridgwater

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