Antique and Contemporary, Wood, Metal, Papier Mache, Mixed Media
Furniture and mixed media objects are often some of the more challenging projects to restore
and preserve, due to the combination of materials that may have been used to create them.
In general, the furniture that we repair and restore suffers from special problems or is very
unique in its decoration. That is to say, we are not refinishers, but rather, strive to retain
the integrity of the original finish, gold leaf and/or hand painted surfaces.
We routinely restore and preserve paper-mache, wood, lacquer, stone, ivory and metal. Our
restorers give each element individual attention in the restoration of the whole object.
We offer in-home or office cleaning, hand-polishing and conservation treatments.
Caring for Furniture
The practice of caring for and restoring fine furniture has changed dramatically in recent years.
More consideration is now given to the preservation of original finishes, and professional restorers
are not as quick to recommend refinishing. Stripping and refinishing are no longer standard practice.
The original finish is significant to historic furniture and should be preserved whenever possible. The
appearance of an early finish can be improved with proper cleaning methods and materials.
When attempting to clean and restore furniture, one must first be able to identify all of the materials
that were used to create the piece. Furniture may consist of components that are made of, or finished in,
wood, stone, metal, acrylic, fabric, leather, gold leaf, paint and natural or synthetic resins. Each
material may have a different reaction to solvents and cleaning agents that may be chosen to restore the
surface. It may not be safe to use a single product to treat an entire piece of furniture. In most cases,
the advice of an experienced furniture conservator is suggested.
The best way to protect and maintain the original clear finish on furniture is an annual application of a
good quality paste wax made of carnauba or micro-crystalline wax. We recommend using Renaissance brand wax
polish. After proper cleaning, a furniture conservator will apply a thin layer of paste wax that is buffed
by hand to restore a deep luster to the original finish. Some paste wax is available in different colors to
make small nicks and scratches less noticeable after polishing. Water based finishes may be sensitive and
easily damaged by paste wax which can contain solvents. It is always a good idea to test a small area before
applying wax over an entire surface. After waxing, the surface can easily be maintained by hand buffing with
a slightly dampened clean soft cloth.
Maintaining a stable environment will also help to preserve your furniture. Wood and most finishes can be
affected and damaged by changes in relative humidity, extreme temperatures, and over-exposure to ultraviolet
light. No amount of lemon oil will prevent wood from drying out if it is constantly exposed to low humidity levels.