Every restoration project is unique in its own way. Depending on each distinct project, there are many different variables that present themselves such as the type of furniture being restored, the year that it was made, the way that it was originally constructed, and much more. Due to the high unpredictability from project to project, there are several factors that every professional furniture restoration expert will consider prior to beginning a job. Here are four main aspects you can expect from a reputable professional furniture restoration company.
One of the first things that will be carefully considered by a professional furniture restoration company is the condition in which the furniture is in. While even the most damaged pieces of furniture can often be restored back to its glory, sometimes damages exceed viability. In order to get a better idea of the project scoop, a restoration expert will examine and evaluate the problem areas. There are many different methods and techniques to furniture restoration. Once a piece of furniture is deemed a proper candidate, the best methods and techniques will be discussed and determined. This will be based on a variety of different factors including the type of furniture, age, material and its value. Before beginning a job, it is important that you and your professional furniture restoration expert discuss the expectations for the completed project. Of course, the goal of every restoration project is to bring the furniture back to its original and most pristine condition. However, the outcome of furniture restoration isn’t always black and white, so to speak. Restoration is a skilled art form in which creativity is often a driving force. This is particularly true for jobs that involve the recreation of missing pieces in which no photo is available as a reference.
An important aspect of a professional furniture restoration project that is highly related to the condition of the piece is whether or not there are missing parts. Missing parts will need to be replaced and will require a skilled wood crafter. As we mentioned earlier, every restoration task is different. In some cases, manufacturing a missing part can be fairly easy and will only require basic woodworking skills. You can expect a pretty quick turn over rate for these types of missing parts. However, many times projects, especially antiques, that are missing parts, contain intricate designs. These types of jobs will require a highly skilled wood carver to complete the job. Both the amount of missing parts and the complexity of a design will affect the outcome of a restoration project. Restoration experts must know prior to starting the restoration process whether or not all of the pieces are there. Knowing this beforehand can prevent a lot of misunderstanding and problems in the future.
Another important element that your professional furniture restoration company will likely address during your consultation is the intended usage of the furniture once it is restored.
Some pieces of furniture are used much more frequently than other pieces. The difference in the usage of the furniture will help the restorer determine the best methods and techniques to use during the restoration. For example, a piece of furniture that will be used on a daily basis will be restored using a different approach and/or materials than an antique piece of furniture intended as a decoration. Overall, the usage rates of the proposed furniture project play a huge part in the restoration process.
Professional furniture restoration services do not come cheap. Nor would you want them to! Just as wood working is a skilled craft, so is restoring furniture. The cost to restore a piece of furniture will largely depend on the scope of the project. Furniture restoration covers a wide range of services that involve both basic and complex skills. The more complex a project is, the more you can expect to pay. Simple jobs such as basic touchups will not cost as much as a project that contains missing pieces in which part manufacturing and wood carving may be necessary. Other important factors such as the age and value can influence the price of a restoration project as well. Antique furniture is often fragile and requires much more time and care than newer modern pieces.
Every professional furniture restoration project is different. Before you start your next restoration piece, make sure that you take the proper time to study the condition of the furniture, any missing parts involved, the usage of the furniture, and the financial aspect of the project. If these four aspects of the project are given much time and thought prior to the beginning of the task, then whatever restoration job you may be working on will have a much greater chance at being a success.
Don Irwin, Sr. is a professional furniture refinisher-restorer opperating Irwin's Furniture Restoration in Phoenix, AZ.