In furniture finishing courses, students are instructed in various finishing and refinishing techniques as they learn about basic tools and building materials. While furniture finishing is not always offered as a standalone academic program, wood finishing and construction diploma programs that provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to become furniture finishers are available.
Here are some of the main concepts you'll encounter while learning about furniture finishing:
- Hand tool use and selection
- Proper power tool techniques
- Types of fastening equipment
- Workplace safety
- Stains and varnishes
List of Furniture Finishing Courses
Hand and Power Tools
Throughout this course, students focus on the safety protocols and use of tools when constructing furniture. OSHA regulations are looked at, as well as the dangers of broken tools, fumes and falling materials. Students learn what safety equipment to use with edge-cutters, measuring tools, drills, hammers and saws, along with tool sharpening techniques. This course is taken near the beginning of a program.
Fastening and Joinery
Through the study of methods used to fasten doors and tables together, students prepare to assemble and disassemble tables, cabinets, chests and shelves. Some courses focus on commercially used furniture, such as tea trays, pews and carts, and other courses look at period fasteners to distinguish an era's furniture. Fastening equipment examined includes wooden and metal fasteners, clamps, glues and nails.
Woods, stains, varnishes and tools are looked at in this course. Students focus on surface preparation and finishing methods, such as mixing stains and dyes, power sanding and creating faux-aged appearances. Students who take this course are able to identify woods and environmental effects on different woods and varnishes. This course can be taken anytime during a student's course of study.
Students who take this course examine the cleaners and polishers that help to maintain and preserve new and old furniture. Students research reupholstering of chairs to match antiques' time periods. Through studying solvents and plastic molds, students prepare to study conservation and treat antique furniture as artwork.
Furniture refinishing courses may be taught in a classroom or in a workshop. Students examine ways to hand strip and bleach woods to remove old varnishes, paints and stains and practice restoring old pieces to a new appearance. In some cases, students learn that removing an old finish and repairing scuffs or marks does not improve a piece but diminishes its history and worth.
Students may look into reproduction of parts, such as legs and knobs, which maintain an antique appearance while fixing broken parts. Students learn preparation of surfaces and how to assemble and disassemble old furniture.