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Antique Furniture Repair

Antique Repair


Conservation of antiques should stabilize an antique for its current use, as well as for future generations.The objectives of conservation may include:
                    •Mechanical Stabilization of the furniture for its intended use.  A chair used in a home must be capable of reliable support.
                    •Furniture should not  have conditions causing further deterioration, such as bug infestations or rot.
                    •Finish conservation, to maintain the patina developed through the furniture's history.
                    •Replacement of missing elements, and aesthetic repairs as desired by the owner. ..................... Continue

 

French Polishing

French Polishing


French Polishing is the name given to the process of coating wood with a solution of shellac dissolved in alcohol, using a "rubber" made of rag and cotton wool instead of with a brush. The alcohol evaporates, leaving the shellac deposited upon the wood. When applied correctly it produces a finish with superior clarity and appearance to lacquers, varnishes, urethanes, and other modern finishes.  Those other finishes look plastic by comparison.  French polished finishes may be maintained for centuries if moderately cared for.   French polishing runs from fairly crude work on English furniture, to a high "mirror" polish appropriate for French Empire pieces, and for pianos of the 19th and early 20th century.............. Continue

 

Decorative Finishes, Gilding, Lacquer

Decorative Finsihes - Gilding, Lacquer


Olek gilds with all types of metallic leaf, on furniture, and on-site for architectural woodwork. Oil and water gilding is typically done with sheets of gold, platinum, silver, bronze, or aluminum. Precious metal sheets are only a few molecules thick, and extremely painstaking preparation is necessary for the best results. Water gilding, done on the finest antique furniture,  is burnished to yield a highly polished, real "solid" metal appearance if not being rubbed through to colored bole beneath. Oriental lacquer typically used Copal resin varnish, made from Copal gum resin.  This resin is hand ground and mixed as the original was, to create Chinese Lacquer for use in restoration............... Continue

 

Oil Paint Conservation

Oil Paint Conservation


Oil Paint Conservation is usually done for paintings on canvas or linen, and is required on furniture too. French Empire and Napoleonic furniture was often paint decorated, and requires precise infilling of missing paint matching original colors and Patina.  Paintings often require stabilization of loosening paint, using acrylic "microballoons" adhered with a conservators' Iron.  Cleaning  the painting may be undertaken, removing  oxidized, darkening varnish applied long ago over the painting. This old varnish obscures the painting and can hide details intended to be seen................... Continue

Caning and Rush

Caning & Rush


This gondole chair on the left has a blind-caned back. The cane is stretched from hole to hole and pegged in place until the end, when the pegs are glued and cut off. We also do reweaving of Danish modern furniture, in various woven patterns................. Continue

Milk Paint

Milk Paint


Milk paint is made from casein, and has been in use for the centuries before modern oil paints were available. It is an extremely durable finish, and usually only requires conservation, infilling of worn surfaces by  an artist. Milk paint often has an alligatored or checked surface, and new milk paint can be applied to have the same distressed Look ............... Continue