Furniture restoration

Restoration of all type of wooden furniture.

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French polishing

Shellac based French polish is the traditional finish for antique furniture. Shellac is a natural non toxic resin which has been used for hundreds of years and has well and truly stood the test of time. Shellac unlike lacquer has the advantage of ageing well (modern lacquers are hard and brittle with a life span of 20 to 40 years)  . Shellac over time will mellow and soften in colour. It can also be repaired and reworked. A French polished finish well over 100 years old can be reworked and rebuilt without stripping it back, thus retaining it's original patina of age. Frank also uses wax and oil polishes. Frank mixes up his own blend of natural waxes which can be applied on it's own or as a sacrificial coating on top of French Polish.

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Furniture restoration

Almost any piece of wooden furniture can be restored. Sometime pieces come to us in terrible condition, overpainted, incomplete and in pieces. Missing components can be replicated (old timber of the correct species is sourced where possible) and blended into the existing piece. Frank uses traditional hide glue for repairs. Modern glues and epoxy resins crosslink and can not be re-softened which can cause problems for future maintenance. Frank has over 20 years experience working with antiques and is expert at all areas of restoration. From replicating and re-glueing exoitic marquetry and inlays, replicating moldings and turnings to rebuilding traditional cabinet joinery.

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conservation

Furniture restoration is an unregulated industry. I have seen lovely pieces ruined by enthusiastic restores. Many restorers will aggressively strip and sand a piece, use epoxy resin for repairs, then spray a piece with modern lacquer. This irreversibly changes the character and value of a piece. Conservation is an overarching ethic that guides frank's approach to restoration. It is internationally recognized as the standard of best practice when maintaining historic objects. The guiding principles are; an emphasis on preservation, the retention of as much original material as possible and the avoidance of irreversible alterations. All work is documented photographically and written as requested.