Furniture Finishers: Job Level and Salary Data

Furniture Finishers: Crafting and Refinishing Woodwork

Furniture Finishers are skilled craftspersons responsible for the final touches on furniture pieces before they are sold or shipped to a client. Their primary task is to apply protective finishes, stains, and paints on wood furnishings to enhance their aesthetics, durability, and functionality. These skilled professionals have a keen eye for detail and work meticulously to produce high-quality results.

Some of the core duties of Furniture Finishers include preparing the wood for staining or painting, selecting appropriate coatings or finishes, applying the finishes using brushes or spray guns, smoothing and sanding rough spots or drips, polishing surfaces, and inspecting the piece for any imperfections. Some finishers also restore old or damaged furniture pieces by stripping off old finishes, repairing joints, and improving the appearance of the furniture through unique techniques.

Examples of Furniture Finishing Jobs

One typical example of Furniture Finishing jobs is the refinishing of an aged oak table for a client. The finisher assesses the condition of the table, removes the existing finish using stripping agents, sands the table, and applies the new finish using a brush or spray gun. The Finisher then goes ahead to polish the surface to create a gorgeous sleek, and refined piece.

Another task may include the application of intricate designs or carvings on furniture pieces such as beds, chairs, or tables. A furniture Finisher may use a combination of stains, paints, and varnishes to create exciting patterns or designs that make the furniture pieces unique and appealing to customers.

Education and Training to Become a Furniture Finisher

There are no formal education requirements to become a furniture finisher, but a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent is preferred. More so, aspirants will need to have a natural interest in the field, as well as some basic math and technical skills. Some of the essential skills and traits include attention to detail, craftsmanship, creativity, patience, and physical dexterity.

Due to the lack of formal training programs, many aspiring finishers learn the necessary on-the-job skills by working as an apprentice for an experienced furniture finisher. This apprenticeship period may last anywhere from 1-3 years, during which the apprentice is taught how to sand, color, finish, and polish different types of furniture.

As aspiring finishers get more experience and skill, they can progress to become professional finishers, supervisors, or managers overseeing a team of junior finishers. Those interested in starting their furniture finishing business may also need to gain some business and management skills.


In conclusion, furniture finishing is an exciting, in-demand, and financially rewarding career path that is perfect for anyone with an eye for detail, a love for craftsmanship, and a passion for woodworking. While there may be no formal requirements to become a furniture finisher, it is essential to seek out the knowledge and skills required to excel in the field, either through apprenticeships with skilled professionals or on-the-job training. With the right education, experience, and skills, aspiring finishers can progress to higher levels in the field and establish themselves as experts in the craft.

Furniture Finishers: Job Level and Salary Data

Geography Job Level Union Average Salary Average Salary for Union Members
US National All Levels Nonunion $39,312.00 $34,028.80
US National All Levels Full-time $40,497.60 $35,526.40
US National All Levels Time-based pay $39,915.20 $35,006.40

The occupation of furniture finishers involves restoring and finishing furniture products. The job-level for furniture finishers varies by experience, with entry-level positions available as well as more advanced positions which may require more specialized skills. According to the data above, the average salary for furniture finishers in the US is around $40,000 per year, with those in full-time positions earning slightly more on average.

Unionization can also have an effect on the job of furniture finishers. Unionizing can provide job security, benefits, and increase the average salary for union members. However, it may also require more strict job requirements and performance standards.

Two geographies where furniture finishers are best paid on average are Massachusetts and California, with average salaries of $46,000 and $43,000, respectively. On the other hand, the occupation is least paid on average in Mississippi and Louisiana, with average salaries of $29,000 and $30,000, respectively.