Expensive furniture is costly for a reason. Whatever the reason -- noteworthy design, exceptional durability of materials and construction or rarity in the marketplace -- restoration can also be pricey. So can mistakes. Steer clear of refinishing a costly furniture piece if you can't afford to buy a replacement that's identical or similar in quality if you botch the job. Consequences of an uncorrectable mistake can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Also, if that piece is no longer for sale, or if it would be difficult to find (and you don't have the time or resources to track it down), consider turning it over to a professional for restoration.