Picture Gallery - Restoration Projects

Example Project 1 - A Two-Over-Two Chest of Drawers


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A post-war two-over-two (denoting the drawer arrangement) oak chest of drawers which was left in-situ whilst a property was rented and discovered in a poor state on the owner's return. Of great sentimental value, the chest's top showed significant staining and water damage.

The restoration process involved masking off the top and chemical stripping. The top was then bleached to remove traces of the staining. The top was then French Polished, cut back with fine steel wool and waxed to finish. The rest of the chest was waxed to blend the piece together.

Example Project 2 - Chest of Drawers


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An oak chest of drawers with significant staining and liquid damage to the top surface.

The restoration process involved masking off the top and chemical stripping. The top was then bleached to remove traces of the staining. The top was then French Polished, cut back with fine steel wool and waxed to finish. The rest of the chest was waxed to blend the piece together.

Example Project 3 - Oak Drop Leaf Table


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Dating from around the 1950s, this table had a fair amount of damage to the finish due to a late-night curry being placed on a damp towel. The heat from the food drove the moisture from the towel into the polished surface, resulting in the damage seen in the picture.

The top was restored using a special recipe reviving liquid and then waxed. Whilst some of the marks are still visible, they are significantly better than when first presented and a considerably cheaper repair than a full strip and re-polish.

Example Project 4 - Mahogany Card Table


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This table had a very poor leatherette inner surface. The top was very scratched and marked plus several pieces of veneer were missing or loose around the table apron.

The top was stripped with a chemical stripper. The loose veneer was re-fitted and patches of veneer let into where pieces were missing. These were coloured and blended back to the original. The table top was then re-polished (French Polished) and finally waxed along with the underframe.

A new piece of green baize was fitted to the inner top surface, but had to be split between the two halves due to a warp in the old wood which would have resulted in the baize soon becoming torn or ripped.

Example Project 5 - Library Chair


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This arrived in a very poor state having been patched up over the years with various bits of leatherette, brown parcel tape and sawdust mixed with glue.

Once the remaining upholstery was removed the chair just fell apart. The joints were carefully remade and re-glued with hide glue. The back central splat was broken where it had previously been glued together and misaligned. It was all fitted back together properly and the show wood touched up and re-polished.

The chair was then sent off to the upholsterers to be re-covered in leather.

Example Project 6 - Georgian Pedestal Desk


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Recently inherited and in a bad state, the top section was almost black along the front face and the rest of the piece had been heavily sun-bleached over the years. The leather top, however, was in reasonable condition.

Several of the original handles were missing, so replacements were sourced. All remaining polish on the desk was removed and the piece was heavily cleaned. The desk was then stained using VanDyke, a traditional red/brown stain) and re-polished (French Polished). All of the handles were buffed up and re-fitted.

Example Project 7 - American Wall Clock


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Brought to me in a bin bag at an antiques fair, this clock was in a very poor state and in several pieces. Apparently it had resided in a chicken shed for many years and when the roof blew off the shed in a storm, it soon deteriorated further!

The remains of the clock were cleaned up and the surface woodworm damage filled. One of the original segments of veneer and marquetry remained, and used as a pattern to make replacements for the clock face surround. A new piece of marquetry was made for the lower face of the clock using the owner's memories to provide an idea of what it might look like. Two new roundels were turned for the ends of the section under the door, and the whole case re-veneered in the style of the original using clues from the glue lines on the old timber.

Once assembled, the walnut veneer was aged using nitric acid and then French Polished.

Example Project 8 - Georgian Mahogany Chest of Drawers


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A small Georgian mahogany chest of drawers that arrived in a very bad state of repair. Various pieces had fallen off, a large patch of veneer was missing from the top, one of the drawers had fallen apart and various chunks were missing from the feet. It was also incredibly dirty.

The piece was first thoroughly cleaned and the various repairs were then made, including the construction of some new feet. The broken drawer was re-assembled and several veneer patches were made.

The chest was then re-polished (French Polished) and waxed.

Example Project 9 - Georgian Knife Box


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A Georgian knife box bought at an antique fair by a client with an astute eye! The innards of the box appeared to be present, but in pieces. The outer box was filthy and it was very hard to pick out the detail of the stringing and inlay.

The inner pieces of the box were re-assembled and fixed back into position. Some of the missing ebony around the box closure edge was replaced.

The outer box was then cleaned and re-polished (French Polished) and waxed to reveal a stunning piece, just right for a nice set of Georgian silver cutlery.

Example Project 10 - Walnut Table


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A small walnut tilt table. The client had sanded the top and legs in an attempt to tidy it up. She soon realised she was in over her head when the top went very red. This was as a result of the abrasion removing years of oxidation and exposure to light, which in turn restores the wood's original (not usually desirable) colour.

The table top and legs were chemically treated to simulate the years of oxidation etc. and then coloured. The piece was then re-polished (French Polished) and finally waxed.

Example Project 11 - Pedestal Desk


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This pedestal desk appeared on arrival to have been whitewashed at some point in it's life, which had then been removed. The "leather" top was in fact a piece of coloured canvas that had ripped in several places where the underlying substrate had split.

The desk was thoroughly cleaned, the canvas removed and the splits fixed by glueing in slivers of new wood. A new leather skiver of the owner's choice was fitted.

Finally the desk was hot waxed to drive the wax deep into the timber, so simulating age.

Example Project 12 - Serpentine Fronted Wig Chest


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A Georgian serpentine-fronted chest, believed to be a wig chest. It had several pieces of veneer, stringing and cross banding missing, as well as missing escutcheons plus staining and sun-bleaching to the front.

New string lines and cross banding were made up and fitted where necessary, along with replacement escutcheons.

The piece was thoroughly cleaned before being coloured slightly and then re-polished (French Polished) and finally waxed.

 

Techniques Used

Formally trained in the use of many restoration techniques, I have worked on many antique and modern pieces, from straightforward repairs to involved reconstruction projects.

 

Bespoke Pieces

 

Contact Me

Stephen Davies
43 Curtis Avenue
Abingdon
Oxfordshire
Email: restore@stephenjdavies.biz
Telephone: 01235 200 869
Mobile: 07870 134 826