Furniture Finisher Kaiwhakaoti Taonga Rākau

Furniture finishers prepare the final surface of items of furniture and apply stain, lacquer, paint, oil or wax.

Furniture finishers may do some or all of the following:

  • provide quotes to customers
  • remove or repair furniture surfaces on old furniture or other wooden items
  • sand and rub wood to smooth its surface
  • apply wood stain, polish, paint, oil or wax finish.

Furniture finishers who run their own business also need small business skills.

Physical Requirements

Furniture finishers need to have good hand-eye co-ordination, and normal colour vision.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for furniture finishers includes woodwork and work in the furniture industry.

Personal Qualities

Furniture finishers need to be patient and accurate, with an eye for detail.


Furniture finishers need to have knowledge of:

  • different kinds of wood and furniture styles
  • furniture stains and polishes
  • polishing and painting techniques.


Furniture finishers:

  • work regular business hours, but may also work overtime during busy periods
  • work in small factories or workshops
  • work in conditions that can be fumy due to solvents, paints and stains.

Subject Recommendations

A minimum of three years of secondary education is recommended. Useful subjects include English, maths and technology. 

Furniture Finishers can earn around $47K-$60K per year.

Pay for furniture finishers varies depending on experience.

  • Qualified furniture finishers usually earn between $47,000 and $60,000.

Source: Competenz, 2017.

Furniture finishers may progress to set up their own business, or move into related roles such as boat builder or joiner.

Years Of Training

3-4 years of training usually required.

To become a furniture finisher you need to complete an apprenticeship and gain a National Certificate in Furniture Finishing (Level 4) through Competenz.

Furniture Finisher