Please take the time to read at least the first 5 FAQs that I have pasted below as they are related to possible extra costs. Some of the information may not apply to your situation.  I apologize for the lengthy info but most people feel it is very helpful.  

1. Follow this link to see how to take a photo for the purposes of email estimates: Estimates by Email

2. Disclaimer For all Email Estimates:  I can only estimate repairs or refinishing based on what I can clearly see in a photo therefore all estimates are subject to change upon seeing the item. Example: If there is loose veneer, which is still attached to the substrate I cannot see what I need to do or even that it is loose and therefore needs repair.

3. On Site Personal Consultation
If you live in the Memphis area and want me to meet with you in person to consult about repairs, refinishing or restoration then a consultation fee of $95 to $165 will be collected. The amount will depend on how far I have to drive and how many pieces need to be discussed. Germantown, Collierville and East Memphis will be $95 to $125 assuming our meeting lasts no more than 45 minutes. 

4. Pickup and Delivery 
Pickup and Delivery to our shop is by appointment only. Please call before you go!  Due to inflation plus many other issues we have discontinued our own pick up delivery services.  We use Austin Eskridge Pickup and Delivery 901-463-9948.  You will need to arrange payment for pick up and delivery directly with Austin.

5. Sales Tax
We do have to collect sales tax on all of our charges even though most of it is labor.  MS sales tax is 7%, and in TN is 9.75%.

6. Before and After The Work is Complete
We require a 50% deposit on all work before we begin repair or restoration.  After the work is completed you will have 30 days to pick up the furniture from our shop or have it delivered.  After 30 days we will charge $1.50 per sq. ft. of floor space that it requires for storage.  We are not responsible in any way for furniture that is not picked up after 30 days.

7. Payments and Payment Options
We take checks and cash only.  We require a 50% deposit at the time of pickup or before the work is started and the balance upon delivery.  We do not take Credit Cards unless you would like to pay the CC charges of 2.7%-4.5% depending on the type of CC you want to use.  Awards cards cost more.  We simply cannot afford to pay these charges from our small profit margins.  If you do want to pay these CC charges we have to know in advance.

8. Understanding Costs
Restoration, refinishing and repairs are tricky to estimate as the customers temperament often determines how much the restoration will cost. By way of example: The cost goes up exponentially with how perfect one wants the repair done.  In doing a repair to look 80-90% better it may take 2 hours but for me to do the same repair 95-100% it may require 2 more hours. Therefore you pay 100% more for only a 20% improvement. Therefore I need to understand how perfect one wants the work done.

9. If You Want to Refinish With a Solid Color
If you want to use a solid color paint you will need to go to Sherwin Williams and pick out a color. I will have the color made at the commercial store in Southaven. Since I have no one to run errands for me you will then need to go to the commercial branch and pick it up or have it delivered to us.
1 gallon of colored finish cost between $60 and $100 depending on the color.  I will let you know how much paint is needed but 1 gallon is a minimum order.

10. Shopping for a Craftsman: Comparing Apples to Apples
Please keep in mind that there is more than just a price involved when shopping for a craftsman to restore your furniture.  There are questions that one should be asking such as…What am I going to get for my money and how long will the finish last?  Plus everyone’s craftsmanship is different in many ways.  i.e. Products/finishes used, it’s durability, the craftsman skill/ability, different types of staining technique (dyes vs pigments), grain filling, flow-out of the finish etc.  Repairs are no different from the type of joints used to the type of glue that is used and everything between, it is all different.   Price is only one aspect of the whole debate as to which company should do your refinishing. How long will our finishes last verses someone else’s finish?  I would be more than glad to compare our restoration/refinishing with anyone else’s work in the Memphis area as long as we are comparing apples to apples.

11. Hardware: Handles, Pulls, Locks etc.
In general we do not replace hardware unless the customer (You) finds it, buys it and brings it to us.   There is no easy way to find furniture hardware that I know you will like.  Regarding polishing hardware: We will polish hardware but there will be extra charges for this service and it will be noted as such on our estimates.  We can and will handle custom pieces of hardware made to match the existing hardware but it is very expensive and normally requires 1-3 months to be made. 

12. Estimates Can Change
We do our best to give a really accurate estimate but antiques are full of “Land Mines” that we cannot see until we start working on the furniture.

13. Is My Furniture Worth Restoring?
Most people want to know if their furniture is worth refinishing. The answer to the question has 2 parts.

1.    First, is it a family heirloom? If this is the case then this is really all that truly matters. You are trying to preserve memories, feelings and/or a history that belongs to your family.  You are not just trying to get new furniture. If it is a family heirloom 75% of my clients spend more than the market value of the furniture to restore it. Sometimes the cost will be double or triple of the market value.

2.    Can you replace the furniture with other store bought furniture of “Like, Kind and Quality”?

There are several ways to look at this: The most important thing to know is that most all furniture that is now bought in the USA is imported from overseas and it is basically “JUNK or Deposable”! As a general rule most furniture that is 15 to 20 years old is a much higher quality than the furniture that is now made overseas. It does not matter how much one may pay for it or the store where it was purchased as it did in the past. The manufacturers are continually finding ways to take “Short Cuts” in order to lower their costs.  Most of these cuts involve reducing quality standards without changing the way it looks or feels.  The newer furniture just will not last as long as the older pieces will.  When deciding the quality of your furniture one needs to search for wooden drawer runners and solid drawer sides with dovetail joinery.  The fact that your furniture may be veneered has no bearing on value or quality of the furniture.  Most, but not all, furniture panels (tops, sides and drawers) are made with wood veneer laminated over MDF.  This is because most solid wood panels that are over 12” wide will shrink and swell with the change in relative humidity resulting in the warps, splits and cracks. These problems lead to customer satisfaction issues and their resulting costs. 

14. Is veneer laminated over any type of fiber board worth restoring or is it a sign of low quality furniture?
Veneer and MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard and Particle Board) are not a sign of “Low Quality” furniture.  Almost all furniture is made with some veneer laminated over MDF, especially wide wooden panels such as tops and sides.  Whether it is a $1,000 or $10,000 table or dresser these products are used to make the furniture more stable.  Solid wood is constantly shrinking and swelling which causes way too many product problems such as cracking and warping.  As a result, manufacturers cannot afford all the product returns.  The veneer and MDF is  much more stable than solid wood.  At least 75% of all the furniture we restore is laminated with veneer and some type of man-made substrate.

15. Furniture Finishing Options
Restoration and Refinishing can be much more than just stripping, staining and applying a coat of finish. There are options with refinishing that are available. There are extra steps and processes that make a piece of furniture more practical or more beautiful.  Examples of this are; Filling the grain, glazing, high-lighting, faux finishing, rub-through finishing and rubbing out the finish by hand or by machine.   These extras are much like options that one would buy when purchasing a car. These options can raise the cost of the work by 10%-35%.  The “Rubbing Out” of the sheen is by far the most expensive option.  This is where the table is finished but the sheen is rubbed into the top after the table is complete.  This requires several extra hours of work but makes the table appear much more formal.

16. Rubbed-Out vs Sprayed-Out Sheens
A rubbed-out sheen is more formal in appearance and requires around 30% or more time to do which is reflected in the cost.  Rubbed sheens reflect the light from something such as a window, with a sharper image ( but not necessarily more shiny)  and sprayed-out sheens tend to diffuse light and are built into the finish itself so no extra work is needed after the last coat is sprayed.  The flatter the sheen the more the light is diffused across the top of the surface.  Flatter sheens tend to  hide defects and that is why it is so popular with manufacturers especially from overseas. 

17. Open Grain Woods
Open grain woods like mahogany and walnut are more expensive to refinish than closed grain woods such as cherry and maple. The open grain woods have to be filled with paste pour filler requiring at least 20%-25% more time. This causes the beautiful grain to “Pop” or stand out and allows the finish to bridge over the pour surface in order to provide water protection.

18. Affordable Refinishing
We offer a type of refinishing to simplify the refinishing process called "Afford Refinishing". The process is this: We will strip the furniture, scuff-sand, rub or spray one color of stain on the piece, spray one coat of vinyl sealer, sand the sealer coat and spray one coat of finish. When we are complete with the process you accept the results with no objections. You get a good finish at a more affordable price. We have samples of the stains we offer in the shop though there is no guarantee that your furniture will look exactly the same color as the stain that you chose.  Please request this if you want this type of refinishing.

19. Many Repairs are not covered in the cost of Refinishing!
There are repairs that I cannot see in an email such as regluing a chair, broken joints or cracks and dents in the wood.  Some cosmetic repairs are easily done in the process of refinishing but structural repairs are a separate matter. Please do not assume that when a refinishing estimate is given, that this also includes repairs.

20. How well do you want the restoration done?
When restoration is done on a piece of furniture there are 2 parts to most repairs; Structural and cosmetic. The first part of the repair is structural. We have to do structural repairs correctly but there are several different ways to do them. Some ways are more “Professionally” done than others.  The second part of the repair is cosmetic in nature, or “hiding” the repair that was done. This part of the repair can be done as well as a customer is willing to pay for.  Normally, the closer we get to a perfect or invisible repair, meaning to totally hide the structural repair, the more you will pay.  We can use only a touchup marker to put back some of the color and we will not charge anything but if we fill, smooth and touch-up the spot it can cost as much as the structural repair of more.

21. What factors can affect the cost of refinishing?
First, what species of wood are we refinishing?  Open grain/closed grain, turnings, carvings, flutes and beads can all affect the cost.  How hard is it to strip? Does it have to be hand stripped or can we use our flow-over tank or dipping vat.  How much sanding is needed? All these can affect the cost.

22. What About Painted Furniture?
It is impossible to know how long it will take to strip painted furniture.  This leads to the problem of not being able to give an accurate estimate.  It will always cost more to refinish painted furniture since it ruins the stripper that we use to do it.  Paint normally comes off in layers and therefore we may need to strip it several times.  We can normally get 90% of the paint off without a lot of trouble but the last 10% of the paint can take longer to remove than the previous 90.  Paint gets lodged in the grain of open grain woods such as mahogany and oak and it can only be removed by power washing it which can cost a lot of other issues such as raised grain and veneer releasing. 

23. Understanding Repair Costs: Cosmetic Repairs vs Structural Repairs
There are often two aspects to a repair. The structural aspect, such as a broken piece of wood and the then there is the cosmetic repair which has to do with the appearance of the repair. I always have to do the structural part of the repair as well as possible but the cosmetic repairs can be done with a touchup marker or I can spend a huge amount of time repairing the finish just so that it looks as good as possible which coould translates Into a lot more expense.

24. The "Law of Diminishing Returns"
The longer I spend on trying to make a repair look very good or almost perfect the more the reoair will cost. For example, I may do a repair and make it look 85% better for $100 but to make it look 95% to 99% better one could spend anothe $50 to $100 or 50% to 100% more for only a 15% better looking repair. I try to never do the structural part of a repair less the the best possible as I don't want it to break again.

25. Splitting Cracking, Warping & Humidity
This one issue is why stores do not sell much solid wood furniture any longer. Most people think that they want solid wood but they really don't really want all the issues that come along with it. There are a few species of wood that are more stable than others but the wood has to be Kiln-dried in order to become halfway stable. All of the above issues are caused by moisture exchange, into and out of, the wood cells which causes expansion and contraction. The wood cells are much like a soda can which, after rupturing or crushing, which in most cases are caused by humidity above 70% or below 30%. The cell will never return to it original shape or dimensions after being deformed. The dimensions mainly only change cross-grain which causes the wood to crack with the grain. The wood will continue to expand and contract with the changes in humidity so filling the crack has to be done with a spongy material that can handle the expansion and contraction. Repairs will never be perfect and may reform after a period of time. Warping will occur when moisture is higher on one side of a wood plank than the other. Most of the time this is caused by finishing only one side of a piece of solid wood.