About Restorers Notes
The Professional Restorers International is leading the way in educating the public about the simplicity of some aspects of restoration as well as its many complexities. The more one knows about the many forms of restoration and treatments available to preserve, protect or restore objects, the more capable they become in making informed, knowledgeable, decisions on how they should proceed with a particular project, whether it be refinishing grandma's old dresser or the conservation of a one of a kind piece of antiquity.
Any restoration process is a balance between several opposing forces. Finding the right approach
will differ for each object based on the constraints listed below.
Technical Restraints - verses - The Perfect Restoration
Cost - verses - Budget
Condition vs. Use
The current condition of an object, its intended use and current use all play a major roll in the restoration process. The antique, bird cage, tilt top table with a piecrust top that sits in the corner of a room in a historic home with a rope across the doorway is much different than the one in your living room that is used every day. The one in your home may require replacing the historic deteriorating finish with a modern finish made to look like the old original finish but offering superior protection for its intend use and still preserve its value. If an item is only for display and will not be exposed to any normal every day ware and tare, preserving the original finish would be the best choice.
Technical vs. Perfection
Procedural technology and the skill level of the restorer limits the final outcome of any object to what is currently available. Some objects should only be stabilize and stored safely until new technology is developed to restore a particular condition. A professional restorer will not take on projects he or she is not capable of preforming until they have acquired the necessary knowledge and training to achieve a proficient skill level that assures treatment out come. Many treatments are optional as their function is to enhance the appearance of the object, not protect or stop its deterioration.
Cost vs. Budget
The cost of research, documentation, materials and multiple treatments to achieve the perfect restoration of a historical item can often exceed most budgets. How far one goes is a balance between what can or should be done and how much time and money you are willing to spend. When cost is a restraint, the procedures that protect from current environmental harm and stop deterioration should be completed first. Then proceed to other issues as funds become available. Restoring Uncle Jed's favorite arm chair to usable condition could exceed its current market value. However the clients sentimental value or emotional attachment can place its value much higher than the items innate monetary value.
Keep in mind that an items condition may look bad to the untrained eye and only require a relatively inexpensive and simple treatment to protect it and bring back its original beauty. While other objects may look very good and need a lot of work to prevent on going damage or deterioration. Selecting an experienced professional to evaluate your heirlooms, collectibles, antiques or fine furnishing is an investment that pays dividends by protecting your valuable assets and personal heirlooms.
To a better understanding of what goes into the process of restoration select and read the articles below. If you are unfamiliar with the technical jargon, we have prepared a Terminology & Definitions page that should answer most questions. If not, please contact us with your questions and we will try to help answer them.