An experienced master craftsman / restorer will firstly study how a piece was crafted, because it is important to follow all the same techniques and materials used, where possible.
Utilising that knowledge will allow you to seek the least intrusive procedure to preserve as much of the original piece as possible, which will in turn, retain the integrity of the piece.
Veneering is an essential part of restoration work and veneers can be made from an almost limitless variety of timbers – this is something commonly produced by ‘peeling’ logs of the finest quality.
A lot of antique furniture is veneered – it was added as an embellishment or decoration and sometimes to make furniture appear to have been made from a more expensive timber.
Generally, veneers can be quite thin, typically not much more than a millimetre or two, and it is usually glued to the substrate of the furniture which in turn, makes it quite vulnerable to damage with glues drying out or perishing making the veneer brittle and susceptible to lifting, bubbling and splitting.
Whilst we can provide new veneers, we also have a large library of salvaged veneers available for use, retained from old pieces of furniture which means that we are usually able to match missing pieces or damaged areas cost effectively.
NB. Quite often, loose veneers can be restored and re-laid, which again, will help retain the original look as far as possible, so remember to keep those pieces!
Stripping furniture, especially chairs, is a slow, messy and laborious task which has recently been made more difficult by the banning of sales of acid preparations to the general public!.
As tradesmen, we have access to many of those stronger chemicals which can remove the stain, which also means we can achieve a better finish for you.
All the stripping is done by hand this will include scraping, sanding and preparing the surface prior to refinishing. Whilst it’s not difficult, it does take a lot of patience – you’d be surprised how many pieces come in to us half stripped!!.
Stripping of polished finishes should be considered a last resort, when the finish is worn or damaged beyond repair.
NB. We do not strip items in a tank – this is generally saved for pine products; sadly once an item has been soaked in a tank, it retains the moisture and can cause joints to disintegrate hence this method is not used by us.
French polishing and waxing is something we can provide. When undertaken, we use traditional methods.
We undertake work to supply and fit new leather tops.