The furniture bible

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Never use colored leather polishes. Common Problems: End of the legs banged and nicked, drying finish, distressed leather, loose joints.

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The legs can be refreshed with clear wax to remove nicks and scratches. You can always think about taking off the leather seat and back, which are very removable on modern seating. Stains on leather should always be left to professionals. Loose joints should be addressed as soon as noticed, so as not to damage the joinery any further — the first step is swelling the joint parts with water or wood-sweller products found in fine woodworking catalogs.

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If you have to re-glue, use only hide glue or white glue, traditionally used in joinery — never epoxy or cement glues, as they are irreversible and stronger than the wood, so they will eventually tear it apart. Such pieces were usually finished with hand-rubbed polishing oils.


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Care should be limited to dusting and an occasional brisk buff with a wool or felt rag. Common Problems: Light finishes mean stains and scratches. Color-wise, scratches can be remedied by using wood-wax crayons or colored shoe polish in the appropriate hue. A good waxing and buffing to a new shine should take care of the dryness and blemishes.

Consider keeping rosewood, teak, mahogany, walnut and all medium and dark wood usually used by mid-century cabinetmakers away from sun and extreme light, which will discolor and fade them rapidly. Italian neoclassical gilded mirror, , offered by Martinoja Antiques. Dusting with a rag is not recommended for gold-leafed items, as they can catch fragile gilding and repeated friction will wear off the gold. Clean only with a feather duster, and never use any products.

The Furniture Bible (Everything You Need to Know to Identify, Restore & Care for Furniture)

Common Problems: Dirt build-up or flaking of the gold. Keep all gilded wood items away from sources of heat such as radiators , and try to maintain an even indoor climate through humid summers and dry, cold winters. For heavy dust on the finish, lightly pass a damp cloth over the surface. Any serious damage should be left to a professional. In any case, never use gold paint to touch up the damage; removing it to restore a gilding would be almost impossible.

The interior designer is renowned for his skill at blending classical and modern elements in handsomely detailed spaces.

How to Carve Bible Verses In Furniture

Moving from silver to bronzes, then into paintings and antiques, this keen-eyed family of keen-eyed specialists on London's historic Kensington Church Street has become a trusted source for Georgian furnishings as well as the finest decorative rarities. The first briefly reviews major furniture styles from the 5th century to the modern era, using chairs as examples. For the most part, Pourny emphasizes European styles and especially those of France with which he is presumably most familiar.

There is little mention of the Chippendale, Queen Anne, Sheraton and other styles so important in American design. Part 1 continues with a brief overview of how furniture is made. This includes a glossary of selected types of wood used in furniture, a summary of the types of joinery and an example of furniture construction using an armoire for illustration. This section, while interesting, won't provide much instruction for those already familiar with cabinetmaking.

The Furniture Bible - Lee Valley Tools

It's intended instead as an introduction for non-woodworkers—dealers, restorers and buyers—who need at least basic knowledge of furniture construction. Pourny then briefly reviews veneering, marquetry, parquetry, inlay, caning, hardware and the use of leatherwork in furniture. Further discussion is given to shagreen sharkskin and stingray skin , parchment, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, antique glass, traditional horsehair upholstery and the upholstering process.

The final topic in Part 1 is entitled "The Hunt" and classifies and evaluates various venues—antique shows, antique shops, auction houses, boutiques, consignment shops, flea markets, estate sales and on-line buying—from which restorable furniture may be obtained. This is a useful section for those looking for furniture to restore or who are considering getting into the furniture restoration business.

Part 2—"The Finishing School"—offers an overview of fine finishing methods. These include ceruse, cire rempli, dry wax rub, French polish, shellac, verais Anglais and European lacquer. Also covered are oil finishes, gilding and paint.


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  • Part 3—"Prep School"—considers dismantling, stripping, dewaxing, filling, sanding and staining furniture. He guides readers from professional to DIYers with tips on finding pieces worth restoration, suggesting sources from flea markets to high-end galleries depending on budget.

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    Once a piece of furniture is acquired, Pourny explains how to assess damage, make repairs, and complete a final finish. A strong section on furniture care and cleaning argues that using the right methods will prolong the life of furniture. This guide will find a wide audience among those who simply want to learn about and appreciate good furniture, as well as those who are more hands-on.