Does Furniture Bank Refinish or Reupholster Furniture?

workshop volunteers

A question we are often asked is whether Furniture Bank refinishes or reupholsters furniture.

The short answer is, “Yes, but not for the public.” (Yet)

Furniture Bank redistributes gently-used furniture and housewares generously given to us by members of the community and provides them at no cost to marginalized and displaced families.

On occasion, some of the items we receive need a little TLC in order for them to be usable by our clients. Perhaps a table leg needs a bit of tightening to be steady, or a perfectly functional chair comes to us with a small tear in the upholstery. 

Rather than being sent to the junkpile, our Workshop team will carefully repair or refurbish these items so that we can offer them to clients. It’s a win, win. Our clients have more furniture to choose from and we help reduce the amount of ‘waste’ ending up in landfill.

Sometimes, our team will even create mash-ups from disparate pieces that are still structurally sound. It’s not uncommon for us to see them marrying the legs from a stool who’s seat is no longer usable with a custom top made from a salvaged dining room leaf. Presto! We have ‘new’ table great for a small space.

Corporate partners, like our friends at CIBC – whose employees regularly volunteer with us and has contributed $20,000 to fund the purchase of new equipment – support our efforts to keep as much furniture in circulation as possible.

In 2018, our team rescued 1,660 pieces of furniture pieces. That’s 1,660 pieces of usable furniture rescued from an unsavory – and completely unnecessary – demise.

Our goal is to eventually expand our social enterprise and workshop capacity to be able to offer furniture refinishing service to the public. In doing so, we could hire more youth through our social hire program Leg Up and train them in a very highly-employable trade. 

Until then, we will continue to work diligently salvaging as much furniture as we can, giving them a second life in a new home.

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