Whether it’s the perfect estate sale score, a beloved family heirloom or a statement piece in your home, your antiques deserve the spotlight. So don’t let scratches, broken legs or damaged finishes diminish your love for the piece. Trust Furniture Medic’s antique restoration and repair technicians to treat your antiques with the care they deserve.
From thorough cleaning to structural repair — and almost everything in between — antique restoration work can take on many different forms. Here’s a primer of what each term means.
First things first: For an item to be technically considered antique, it must be 100 years old or more. Vintage describes a collectible item between 20 and 99 years old. And what about retro? It applies to anything made within the last 20 years and may reference a different style of the past.
Antique restoration is the work completed to bring an antique or heirloom as close to its original condition as possible, including structural repairs and finish restoration.
When it comes to damage, antiques can see it all. Antique repairs include fixing scratches, gouges, water stains, broken legs, loose hinges, sticky drawers and more.
The patina, or surface sheen, of an antique often makes a big difference when it comes to value. An antique finish restoration protects the patina developed over time while enhancing it, and includes a careful cleaning to remove stuck-on grime and grease.
During antique refinishing, the original surface finish is removed and replaced with a specialty varnish. This can be done to the whole piece or to smaller, damaged areas.
Stripping an antique piece involves applying a chemical solvent that removes the finish of the piece and brings it back to bare wood. This process may even weaken or remove glue used to hold the piece together.
Depending on the type of restoration your antique or heirloom piece needs, we’ll likely remove the piece off-site to complete the work. However, light touch-up work can often be done in your home. First, we’ll inspect the piece for any structural issues and pay special attention to the condition of the finish. Then, we’ll carefully clean it and touch up any spots where color and finish are needed while preserving the patina of the piece.
For more structural issues, like loose joints or broken parts, we will mend (including refabrication, if needed) and reassemble. Once your piece is finished, we schedule its return based on a time that works with your schedule.
Without the opinion of a certified appraiser, it’s difficult to know if an antique is authentic and what its estimated value may be. We recommend seeking the advice of a certified appraiser for an evaluation if you have concerns about the impact of a restoration on your piece.
If you’re ready to bring your beloved piece back to life, reach out to your local Furniture Medic technician to talk about your restoration options.