With antique and vintage furniture as popular as ever, more and more people are taking on restoration themselves, whether it’s a simple case of putting new handles on a chest of drawers or a more complicated restoration of a dresser.
How best to take your first steps in restoration? Firstly, select your piece. Really do your research. Your end result depends on how well you select your piece of furniture, so before you hand over your money, give it a really good look. Look inside the drawers, for example, or turn a table upside down to check the legs and underside. And choose a piece of furniture that you actual want – not simply because it’s a bargain. These days, supplies are readily available online, and many suppliers also offer advice, so make the most of this.
Doing a Course
If you are doing more than sanding down and repainting, it’s also worth considering doing a course. Adult education centres are a good place to start, and courses are good introductions at a reasonable price. Training resource Hot Courses offers advice on what to expect from courses and where to find them, from short courses to City and Guilds and apprenticeships.
Call in the Experts
While tackling a small restoration is fine for the beginner, if you have fallen in love with a huge piece of furniture or something very damaged, then unless you already have the skills it’s best to leave it to the experts. There are specialist restorers for just about every aspect of furniture, from small tea chests to church pulpits. Very specific skill sets are needed for differing jobs, whether it’s repairing a brass inlay or creating new legs for a chair. If you do require a specific piece of furniture for a specific purpose, there’s always the option of commissioning a bespoke piece, and this may be an easier and more successful option if you are unsure of your skills. As there are specific restorers, there are specific furniture crafts people, such as www.victorhallantiques.com, whose specialism is as bespoke bar furniture suppliers in London.
So know your own limitations. If you are serious about restoration, seriously consider doing a course, and if in any doubt, call in an expert. It might end up saving you money and time.