Bringing floors and heirlooms ‘back to life’

Published 10:00 am Monday, February 27, 2023

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Troy Irvine is the owner of two local businesses in the same building, Furniture Restoration of Minnesota and Mr. Sandless, which does hardwood floor restoration and refinishing.

“There’s really a big need for furniture refinishing right now cause nobody really does it in the area,” Irvine said. “There’s some in the Twin Cities that are doing it, but there’s really nobody in southern Minnesota, northern Iowa, that are refinishing furniture.”

Born and raised in Albert Lea, Irvine enjoys restoring items and “bringing them back to life,” and to that effect most of his work includes restoring older tables and family heirlooms, a work he described as “an honor.”

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By doing so, he’s also saving customers from having to go out and buy new items.

“In high school I really enjoyed shop class and learning about how to sand wood and refinish it, things like that,” he said. “I’ve always had kind of a knack for refinishing things and bringing them back. I don’t like to throw things away, I like to restore what we have if we can. I think the old furniture is built much better than the new stuff and lasts longer.”

Irvine said he restored almost anything made of wood, including cabinets, tables, chairs, end tables, hutches and dressers.

He described the process of bringing a floor or worn furniture back to life as “fun,” and he has learned persistency was key, as was customer response.

“You need to call customers back if they call you,” he said. “You need to respond and call them back and show them attention, and if you do that you’ll be successful.”

And doing right by customers has helped to attract new business.

Rita Rae used Irvine’s Mr. Sandless business on two separate occasions, once for a house she was selling in Freeborn back in May and again after she purchased a home in Albert Lea in September.

She originally heard about Mr. Sandless through social media.

“He was very kind and professional,” she said. “He did my project in a timely manner. I was able to get those floors done before I moved into my new property, which was good.”

She said she also thought his prices were reasonable and said both projects were completed in a timely manner.

Irvine’s restoration business is in the Skyline Plaza,1647 W. Main St., next to Bomgaars. The business is open by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, visit their Facebook page at Furniture Restoration of Minnesota, or call 507-391-9100. His newest business has been open since summer 2022, while he’s owned the Mr. Sandless business for seven years. One key difference between the two: Furniture Restoration of Minnesota is an on-site business, whereas Mr. Sandless goes to people’s homes.