Antique Table Restoration
Do-It-Yourself? Hire a professional furniture restorer? Here are some things you should consider.
Antique table restoration is all about returning an old table to a state as close to its original condition as possible. Normally, this involves simply giving an antique table a facelift, but it may also require considerable additional repair and reinforcement. If you are considering having your antique table restored, either by a professional or doing it yourself, here are some guidelines and advice to help you make wise choices.
First — if you haven’t already done so — spend some time doing research to determine exactly how valuable your antique table is.
Before deciding whether to hire a professional to restore your antique table or to tackle the job yourself, you need to know how much this piece of furniture is actually worth. You may be able to determine the approximate value of your table by doing some basic research online or at a library, using marks, labels and distinguishing features to identify the piece. If you have reason to believe your table may be particularly valuable, you probably will want to consult with a professional furniture appraiser before undertaking any renovation of any kind. If your antique is very valuable, you may want to think twice about attempting to restore it yourself unless you are extremely confident about your skills. And, you should know that in some cases, removing an antique’s original finish — regardless of its condition — may actually reduce its value.
Next, ask yourself how much are you willing to spend on restoration?
Once you’ve determined that it would be worthwhile to restore your antique table, the next thing to decide is this: How much are you willing to pay for the project? You might start by consulting one or two professional furniture restorers to find out how much they would charge for the project.
If your budget is tight, you may also want to seriously consider restoring your antique table on your own.
Should you attempt a DIY furniture restoration?
While furniture restoration may be a fun and satisfying do-it-yourself project, you want to be sure that you won’t risk permanently damaging your valuable antique table by attempting to do it yourself. You’ll want to be sure that you have the information, skills, equipment, supplies and — above all — the time to do justice to the project.
Time is always one of the biggest considerations, isn’t it? A basic restoration may look simple enough that you feel comfortable taking on the project. But keep in mind that even the simplest antique restoration is quite time- and labor-intensive, particularly if you are not very experienced with the procedures, equipment and supplies. Be sure that you have plenty of time to really do a good job of it if you decide to undertake the project yourself.
Here is a list of the basic tools you will need to restore your antique table:
- a good-quality paintbrush
- containers to hold alcohol, paint thinner, stains & finishes (glass w/ tight fitting lids are best)
- denatured alcohol
- oil-based topcoat finish
- mineral spirits/paint thinner
- 220 grit sandpaper
- wood stain
- old absorbent rags plus a medium-sized terrycloth towel
- clean, lint-free cotton cloths
- tack rag (specially-treated cloth to remove lint, etc.)
- fine-grade steel wool
- furniture touch-up pen
- safety goggles
Remember: Safety should be your #1 concern in tackling any furniture restoration project. You certainly don’t want to jeopardize your eyesight by failing to protect against flying splinters or wood dust. And good ventilation is essential to protect yourself from chemical fumes. You should wear heavy-duty long-sleeved clothing to protect your skin, and you should also wear a surgical-style mask while stripping and varnishing your antique table. Realistically speaking, the best safety measure you can take may be to simply engage a professional antique restorer to do the job.
Looking for a reputable professional furniture restoration service in the Portland area?
For any antique furniture restoration or professional reupholstery, Lim’s Upholstery provides the finest professional services. Lim’s Upholstery has offered top-quality furniture restoration since 1985. Our expert staff has more than 80 years of cumulative experience in furniture restoration with a wide range of diverse skills. We are particularly known for our close attention to detail and meticulous work. Please feel free to call us at (503) 643-8028 for information, advice or for a “Quick Quote” estimate.