Clive Payne

Veneer Restoration & Conservation for Antique Furniture

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Antique Veneer Restoration in Oxfordshire & Gloucestershire

The Antique Veneer Restoration Process

Antique furniture often boasts exquisite veneers, showcasing the craftsmanship of bygone eras. Veneers, thin layers of fine wood applied to furniture surfaces, add depth and beauty to these pieces. However, the passage of time can lead to veneer damage, requiring skilled restoration to revive their former splendour.

Wood veneer is a surface that can be easily damaged. The delicate surface means it can be prone to scratching or gouging, or moisture can seep underneath the veneer and loosen the top layer, causing bubbles to appear or the veneer to peel. When veneer furniture is damaged, you should seek the help of a restorer, you cannot simply sand away the scratches yourself. Clive Payne is a member of the British Antique Furniture Restorers’ Association and can help.

Antique veneer restoration is a meticulous process aimed at preserving the original beauty and integrity of these unique pieces. It involves carefully assessing the condition of the veneer, identifying areas of damage, and employing specialised techniques to revive and protect these delicate surfaces. The process begins by delicately removing damaged or deteriorated sections of the veneer. Then meticulously cleaning and preparing the underlying surface before applying new veneer or repairing the existing one. Matching wood grains and hues with precision, expertly blending old and new elements, ensuring a seamless finish that retains the piece’s authenticity.

At Clive Payne, we source as much reclaimed veneer as possible to conserve items of furniture that are missing areas of veneer lost over time. Loose veneers are carefully lifted the old scotch glue is removed then it is re-laid using fresh Scotch glue, (sometimes referred to as hoof glue or animal glue).

Veneer restoration extends the life of antique furniture, safeguarding not just its physical structure but also its historical significance. Each restored veneer panel revives the elegance and allure of the original craftsmanship, allowing these timeless pieces to continue enchanting admirers for generations to come.

Member of the British Antique Furniture Restorers Association (BAFRA)

The British Antique Furniture Restorers’ Association (BAFRA) is a nationwide organisation of skilled people engaged in furniture conservation, furniture repair and furniture restoration. Every BAFRA member is an expert in their field and is actively involved in Continual Professional Development to keep abreast of advances in knowledge, skills and technical developments.

Over the years Clive has developed the highest of standards in antique veneer restoration in Oxfordshire and antique veneer restoration in Gloucestershire, joining the British Antique Furniture Restorers Association (BAFRA) in 1997 and now specialises in conserving and restoring oak and country furniture from the 15th to 18th centuries, together with all furniture from the early 18th to 19th centuries.

Antique Veneer Restoration FAQs

How is veneer furniture made?
Veneer furniture is crafted through a meticulous process that enhances both aesthetics and durability. Thin layers, or veneers, of high-quality wood, are carefully sliced from a log using specialised tools. These veneers are then applied onto a base, often made of less expensive wood or engineered materials, using adhesives. The layers are arranged to create a visually appealing pattern, such as parquetry. After application, the veneer undergoes pressing and bonding to ensure a strong and uniform adhesion. Finally, finishing, sanding, staining, and sealing it to achieve the desired appearance and protective finish.
When did veneer furniture become popular?
Veneer has been used in the production of furniture since around 3000 BC, but did not appear in England until around the middle of the sixteenth century, and was mainly found in Oak furniture originating from Lancashire and Yorkshire. This was in the form of geometric shapes usually hand sawn from Holly or Sycamore, or darker woods such as Bog Oak and Walnut. Natural stains were also used to colour wood with red, yellow and green.
What is antique veneer restoration?
Antique veneer restoration is a specialised process aimed at repairing and preserving the outer layer of fine wood used on antique furniture. It involves carefully repairing or replacing damaged or deteriorated veneer to restore the piece to its original elegance. Clive Payne dedicates his expertise to ensuring that the unique beauty and character of the wood are revived, maintaining the historical authenticity of the furniture. Through this specialised restoration, antique pieces regain their original charm, allowing them to stand the test of time and be appreciated for generations to come.
What causes damage to antique veneer?
Damage to veneer can result from various factors such as exposure to moisture, temperature fluctuations, age-related deterioration, and physical impacts. These factors can lead to lifting, cracking, or discolouration of the veneer. Moisture can compromise the adhesive bond, while temperature changes may cause the wood to expand or contract, stressing the veneer. Over time, natural deterioration occurs, and physical impacts amplify these vulnerabilities. Understanding these factors is crucial for effective veneer restoration, as it enables craftsmen to address specific issues and employ suitable techniques, ensuring the preservation and revitalisation of the veneer’s aesthetic and structural integrity.
How do I know if my antique furniture needs veneer restoration?
Signs such as cracks, chips, peeling, or discolouration on the surface of the furniture indicate potential veneer damage. If you notice these issues, it’s advisable to seek professional assessment for restoration. Cracks and chips compromise both aesthetics and structure while peeling suggests adhesive issues. Discolouration may hint at underlying problems such as moisture damage. Seeking timely professional intervention ensures a thorough evaluation of the veneer’s condition, allowing skilled veneer restorers to implement precise restoration measures. Addressing these signs promptly not only preserves the furniture’s appearance but also safeguards its longevity, enabling continued enjoyment of these cherished pieces.
What is the difference between marquetry, parquetry and veneer restoration?
When veneers are made from small pieces of wood, cut from the same larger piece of wood, and then installed on the furniture so that their grain runs in opposite directions in a geometric pattern, it is called parquetry. The process of marquetry involves the creation of an image or a picture in wood. Veneering allows the use of beautiful woods, that because of any number of reasons, such as limited availability, cannot be used in its solid form for making furniture.
Will restored veneer look different from the original?
The skilled restorers at Clive Payne strive to match the new veneer as closely as possible to the original, considering wood type, grain pattern, and colour. When expertly done, the restored veneer should seamlessly blend in with the existing surface. Antique veneer restoration focuses on preserving the authenticity of the piece. Our restorers meticulously match wood grains, textures, and finishes to ensure the restored veneer seamlessly integrates with the original, retaining the piece’s historical and aesthetic value.
Why choose Clive Payne for antique veneer restoration?
Over the years Clive has developed the highest standards in antique veneer restoration and is a member of the British Antique Furniture Restorers Association (BAFRA). As a member of BAFRA, Clive Payne is fully accredited, works to the highest standards and ethics and has been rigorously assessed and vetted. This ensures that every antique veneer restoration project is approached with the utmost professionalism, expertise, and adherence to the highest ethical and craftsmanship standards.

To discuss any aspect of an item of antique veneered furniture that you might wish to conserve or restore please do not hesitate to contact me. All antique veneer restoration in Oxfordshire and antique veneer restoration in Gloucestershire is done entirely by hand using traditional techniques.

Call 01608 658856 or click the button below to make an enquiry.

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