Refinishing in woodworking and decorative arts means fixing or redoing the finishing paint, varnish or other top coating of an object, from resanding to new paint and new lacquer or varnish. The artisan or restorer is traditionally aiming for an improved or restored and renewed finish. Refinishing can apply to a variety of surfaces and materials such as wood, glass, metal, plastic and paint, although in Britain, when referring to wood or wooden furniture it is commonly known as repolishing.

There are a great variety of both traditional and modern finishes, including the use of faux finishes. One interesting modern development in refinishing is the art of distressing or antiquing, making the finishes of pieces look older. To learn more about modern furniture finishes, study these [ faux finishing techniques for unfinished furniture] with step-by-step instructions.

One of the most important aspects of refinishing furniture is the knowledge of what pieces should not be refinished. Any attempt at restoring such a finish will reduce the antique value of a piece. For example, on an episode of the Antiques Roadshow, the appraiser (one of the Keno brothers) estimated that the value of an 18th century New Hampshire tiger maple tall chest of drawers had been reduced in value from $250,000 to $25,000 by having been refinished, albeit professionally and well.Fact|date=August 2008

See also

* Woodworking
* Wood finishing
* Varnish
* Patina
* Furniture
* Glaze
* Paint
* Metal leaf
* Faux painting
* Distressing

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