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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: How far do we go?

Posted By: Roger DeMuth <fero@sbcglobal.net> (adsl-68-72-215-97.dsl.akrnoh.ameritech.net)
Date: 10/7/4 19:03

In Response To: How far do we go? (Kirstin)

Kirstin, I'm surprised no one has responded to you. Its really very simple. When a piece of furniture needs restoration, we try to retore it to its original state with minimum intrusion. Sometimes repair is needed but the original finish can be saved. Sometimes the original finish cannot be saved. If you remove the original finish it can take the value to as much as 20% what it would be worth with the original finish intact. This is not always possible. I recently restored a Victorian lamp table that a friend had dug out of someones trash. He is a woodworker but when he saw it in the light (it was dark when he picked it up) he decided restoration was beyound him. One leg was broken off and a couple of fru frus (my wifes term) were missing. I spent 3 months on it (not every day) but today I applied coat #3 of finish. I made a new leg, replaced the fru frus, bleached the top to remove a horrendous stain, and stained it in a way to try and duplicate the original finish. It isn't completely original but it is restored to as close to original as I can make it.

Conservation is another matter. We have a responsibility (especially those of us who do resoration) to conserve our history. Conservation is simply maintaining pieces in their original state. If the piece is in good shape and the finish isn't too bad, the piece can be conserved. This usually involves cleaning, repairing and probably cleaning up an old finish.

Conservation usually involves saving the old finish and repairing loose parts. Restoration usually goes further, involving finish restoration and possibly refinishing. I have to wonder why you ask though. Do you have a piece in need of restoration or conservation?

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