Brothers and Signal Mountain residents Nathaniel and Tyler Luttrell have grown up around wood, and they recently turned their passion into a business now open on Taft Highway.
The Luttrells' father owns a cabinet shop in Chickamauga, and both have since gone on to work at other shops such as Dakota Concepts and high-end cabinet shop Ana Woodworks. They had the idea for Grain Surgeons, their furniture refinishing and repair shop, about a year ago and recently opened their storefront, which is currently open only by appointment.
The two provide services from minor in-home touch-ups to full strip-and-refinish jobs, said Nathaniel Luttrell.
"People are so quick to go out to these superstores and buy furniture that's 90 percent particle board," he said, adding that same furniture will become part of the approximately 8 million tons of junk furniture thrown into landfills each year.
For the same amount of money, he said consumers can take an older but better-quality piece of furniture purchased for around $20 at a yard sale, then spend $150 with the Grain Surgeons to have it refinished and keep it for life.
"It's a green-friendly thing to do," said Tyler Luttrell. "A lot of times, what you already have is better quality than what you can buy new."
The brothers said the question they hear most often is "Is this worth refinishing?" Nathaniel Luttrell said the answer depends on what the piece means to the customer.
"People attach a lot of sentimental value to furniture," he said.
The two provide in-home estimates for refinishing work as well as pickup and delivery service.
The Grain Surgeons offer all finishing styles, such as glazed, crackled, distressed and sunburst finishes. Tyler Luttrell said they are trying to move more toward waterborne finishes, as opposed to the flammable and more toxic lacquer-based finishes.
While many of their customers come from Lookout or Signal Mountain, the Luttrells would like to stress that refurbished furniture can be affordable for anyone.
"We can work out a deal with people on all kinds of budgets," said Nathaniel Luttrell.
In addition to custom work, the Luttrells refinish and sell accent pieces they find as well as new furniture built by their father.