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(c) Copyright 2012 Neil Busby - All Right Reserved

Antique Restoration

Toilet Mirror Restored

Antique restoration involves a lot of different skills, there is far more involved for proper professional restoration than just a quick wax. Firstly you need cabinet making skills to understand how the furniture was made in the first place and also how to carry out any repairs.
Veneering - most antiques, especially the more decorative, ones are veneered or have veneered panels, these would have been laid by hand using traditional methods, no heated veneer presses here.
French polishing - this would need to include colouring and matching as well as being able to polish large areas by hand. Most people with a little knowledge would be able to French polish a small box or a stool, but a table top of a grand piano
requires long learnt and practiced techniques.

Gilt Settee


Probably most important of all is an understanding of how antique furniture should look, there's not much point in having all the skills above and using them to make everything look brand spanking new. Every age and style has a different look about it and that knowledge can only be learnt from working on the actual furniture. Sure, you could read books and get an outline, but in reality hands on experience is the only way. A piece of antique furniture when fully restored should look like a piece that has been around for one or two hundred years and has had a very good life....... not new!

Wing chair Restoration


This chair was brought in fully upholstered, one back leg had broken off and the frame was wobbly. Upon removing the upholstery it was revealed that the poor chair was riddled with woodworm and the frame was in a very bad state as you can see from the images here. The client liked the chair so much it was decided to do a full restoration job, the bottom 4 rails were replaced along with one of the rounded front columns, the broken back leg had an internal scalf which provided the new joint up to the back, there were many other small repairs, and the entire structure was taken apart and re-glued. The new upholstery was the final stage, making a lovely chair again from a rotten wreck.

Wing Chair Before
Woodworm section
Wing Chair Finished
Desk Leathering

Tray Restoration

Here is a good example of professional restoration, a simple Mahogany tray with a shell veneered panel.
As you can see from the first picture the gallery is missing. When the tray was brought in the gallery was there, just, but was suffering from woodworm, it was so badly eaten the only option was to make a new one. The final look is still antique and the new section blends in with the piece perfectly.

Tray Before
Tray In progress
Tray Finished

Please see the galleries below for further examples of my work

  • Coffee Table Veneering
  • Media Cabinet Alteration
  • Selection Gallery
Coffee Table repair* Link to Gallery
Media cabinet alteration Media cabinet lateration
Selection gallery Link to Restoration selection gallery