Furniture finisher

Furniture Finishers work with wood and metal and finish and refinish surfaces using tools, adhesives, stains, and other treatments. They may refinish old or damaged furniture, or work with new, unfinished pieces. They must have a strong knowledge of material types, their uses and be able to determine the best methods to complete order specifications. They should have strong hand-eye coordination and general woodworking skills.

Duties and tasks

  • Apply coats to achieve desired finish, and apply sealant, if desired; polish and buff surfaces
  • Identify and work with various materials appropriate for specific job requirements
  • Make repairs, if necessary, using glue, putty, nails, or screws
  • Select appropriate ingredients to finish, such as paint, varnish, stain, lacquer, or shellac
  • Strip wood or metal of paint, varnish, and other materials and prepare surface

Skills required

  • Ability to follow Safety Standards
  • Perform physical and repetitive tasks
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Strong hand-eye coordination and manual agility
  • Time management

Working conditions

Furniture Finishers work indoors in a workshop environment, and may work with or be employed by an established carpenter. Because of the various tools and equipment they work with, they must follow proper safety practices and wear protective gear to reduce their risk of injury or illness; inhalation of vapours is also a hazard, so workshops must be well ventilated. They may work on weekends, depending upon the schedules of their clients; they usually work a general Monday through Friday work week.

Professional associations / Industry information

  • Furnishing Industry Association of Australia
  • Manufacturing Skills Australia
  • Related jobs and job titles
  • Cabinetmaker
  • Carpenter
  • Furniture Maker
  • Furniture Polisher
  • Joiner
  • Upholsterer
  • Wood Machinist