If you have a love for antiques, or truly enjoy finding old pieces of furniture and restoring them to their former glory, starting an antique furniture restoration business may be the perfect fit for you. This business requires knowledge of antique furniture periods, as well as the ability to professionally strip, sand, paint or stain furniture to return it to a sale able condition. It is also helpful to have contacts within the local auction community to source and sell antique furniture.
Step 1Choose a location for your business. Ideally, this location should have an area in the back that can be used as a workshop for your restoration projects. If this is not possible, focus on apart of town that is well-traveled and conducive to your market. For example, a street that has antique stores and boutiques would be an ideal place to find your intended buyers.
Step 2Secure a stream of antique pieces. If you don't already have contacts with local auctioneers, get in touch with them and let them know about your plans to start a local restoration business. Not only can they help you find pieces to restore, they may also be able to help you place your restored pieces once they are finished.
Step 3Finish a few showpieces before opening your store. You need to be able to promote your antique restoration business by showing the kind of work that you can do. Display your favorite pieces in your showroom and next to them, display a photograph of what the furniture looked like before you began working on it.
Step 4Contact the local media. Antique restoration always makes for a good human interest story and your local paper or radio station may be interested in doing a piece on your business. In addition, contact your local chamber of commerce to see if you can schedule a ribbon-cutting ceremony for your grand opening. This will help get the community interested in your shop.
Step 5Schedule an open house. Let people tour through the showroom and show them some furniture pieces that you are currently working on. This helps get the local community excited and shows your customers what your work entails.
Step 6Place local ads offering restoration services. Even if they don't have pieces they want to sell, people in your local community may have old antiques that have seen better days. Place ads in your local paper and around town to offer your restoration services to them. This can be a good way to supplement sales of restored pieces.