Every once in a while I get contacted by someone looking to get a sign restored or want to know more about restoration. The good news is that a talented restorer can often restore a sign to an almost exact match of the original, but unless the sign was in really poor condition you generally don’t see restoration increase the value enough to pay for the work.
I advise people to consider restoration when you’re not looking to resell, you just want a sign that will look perfect on display for yourself. That being said there can be times where it makes financial sense to restore a sign that has a small area of damage in a critical area of detail that is seriously detracting from the display of a sign. These types of things are pretty uncommon and restoration in general is not that common as many collectors don’t mind some “character” on their signs.
a before and after of a restoration by VanKannel Sign Restoration
Another aspect to consider is that once a sign has been restored you should always disclose that information to any potential buyers you are talking to. It is completely fraudulent to sell a restored sign as a mint original.