What is Furniture Restoration?
Furniture restoration is the complete process of revitalizing a piece of furniture to its full potential. It is not about making the piece look new again, because if that is your goal, you are best off just buying a new piece of furniture. Restoration takes into account that the furniture is old and has a certain character that comes only with age. That character is something to be appreciated when you start considering your first restoration project and is generally something that you should want to preserve or you will end up with a piece of furniture that has lost all of its vintage or antique appeal (more to come on the difference between vintage and antique later on). It can be hard to describe in concrete terms but there is a certain “je ne sais quoi” antique and vintage furniture has, which comes only after decades of use and enjoyment but can be destroyed in minutes with a poor restoration job.
However, after saying all this, perhaps you don’t care so much about the antique qualities of the furniture, or the piece has little or no value as vintage furniture, or maybe the piece has surface damages beyond fixing, but the structural integrity is still good and the overall form of the furniture is pleasing to you, then by all means, there are things you can do and will learn to do in this course that will allow you to transform any piece of furniture you have into something you will love. It can be fun and interesting to incorporate modern and contemporary design elements into vintage and antique furniture, so allow your imagination to guide you.
The restoration process generally includes repairs to the wood and joinery, replacing or cleaning hardware, removing old finishes and applying new ones, lessening the appearance of damage and ensuring the piece is level, sturdy and rigid (i.e. doesn’t twist, sway or lean in a way that is not intended). Furniture restoration is about taking something that is unusable to you, either because of damage or outdated styles and making it useable to you.
You might be interested in furniture restoration because you have a specific piece you are hoping to restore or change, or because you are looking for a hobby and like working with your hands, perhaps you get fulfillment from taking something old and tired and making it beautiful and useful again or maybe you are hoping to one day make a living restoring furniture. Either way, this course will help you build the foundational skills needed to be able to restore your very own furniture.