Career Profile: Furniture Finisher

Career Profile: Furniture Finisher

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Have you ever sat on a rough piece of furniture that gave you a splinter in your finger or leg? No one likes to use uncomfortable chairs or to sit at tables that might collapse under the weight of their lunch, but they might not realize that a special kind of trade is all about making sure that furniture is ready to use when people buy it. Furniture finishers help to make people’s homes comfortable and livable.

Making a piece of furniture involves many different tasks. First, people have to get the wood, cut it to the right size and shape, and get it ready to put together. That is where furniture finishers begin their work. They repair any parts that need it, including filling in gaps where wood might have been gouged out, or sanding down rough edges if necessary. They apply stain to turn the wood into different colours to match people’s homes, and add lacquer or paint if necessary.

The job of furniture finisher in a factory normally comes at the end of the manufacturing process, and it can be somewhat rushed if there have been delays along the way. Still, with other people around to help, furniture finishing does not have to be very stressful. Often, furniture finishers work closely with other people to get the work done in these situations.

Another option for finding work in this trade is to work in a small shop where people come to get their furniture repaired and restored. In this situation, furniture finishers also need to know how to take tables, chairs, or dressers apart and put them back together without damaging them. Sometimes, they might work with very dry and brittle wood, and they need to know the right chemicals to use to restore old pieces. In small shops, furniture finishers are likely to work alone or with one or two other people.

Furniture finishers need to know a lot about the materials that they work with. If you want to get into this field, courses in chemistry and mathematics can help provide the information and skills that you need for choosing the right products to use on the wood and tell you how much you need of each one. If you use too little, it might not be effective, but if you use too much, it might start to eat through the wood or cause the metal parts to rust.

Furniture finishers might have trouble finding work in difficult economic times when people have little money to buy furniture, but the skills are useful for many other fields, such as working in maintenance at an office or school. Generally, furniture finishers earn between about $30,500 and $57,500, but the salary can vary a lot, depending on how big the company is and other factors. If you want to get into this trade, it is a good idea to have a second or third area where you can work, such as window repair or fence construction.

Working as a furniture finisher can be a good job for people who are patient and good with their hands. If that describes you, why not consider this career?


Careers.org. “Occupational Profile for Furniture Finishers.” http://www.careers.org/occupations/51-7021.00/furniturefinishers.

Job Bank. “Furniture Refinishing Varnisher in Canada.”


Payscale.com. “Furniture Finisher: Hourly Rate.” https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Furniture_Finisher/Hourly_Rate.

Study.com. “Furniture Finishing Classes, Diplomas, and Degree Program.” https://study.com/furniture_finishing_class.

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