A Creative Approach to Restoration A Creative Approach to Restoration
In restoration sometimes you have take a very creative approach to period furniture to balance looks, what the piece is worth and the nature of the damage you have to repair.
This desk is a good example of using a creative balance. It is a lovely sweet little desk but in todays market not of any great value. The client wants to use it, as a decorative period item in a hotel so needs it to look good, but no point spending large sums of money.
The top is horribly damaged; the front is splitting off, which we glue back on; there have been strips tacked on front and back for some strange reason! Which when removed has revealed the more original colour of the top.
There is horrendous damage down each side, which have been badly patched in some cases. The polish on the top as a whole is faded, scratched and flaky ... all in all what a mess!
Here one has to think a little left field on how to get this looking good for a reasonable cost. If money and time were in free supply you would just cross band the whole top with a high quality veneer, sand it all and then re polish. In order to get this same effect but for a fraction of the cost I decide to use the bits of slating that I took off the front and back that have already left a two tone effect that gives the making of a cross banding affect. These are let in with mitres at the sides, which will cover up all that nasty mess present mentioned earlier.
The final issue is the effect created is all long grain so here is the next little trick; we re-polish the top and bring the centre section to a closer colour to the outside edges and a colour closer to the rest of the desk by washing colour in between polish layers. Then we mask off the line of the inch border and with strokes of water-pallet stain paint in a cross grain pattern.
This is then all sealed in with more French polish which when dried the frog tape is taken off and more coats of polish applied over the whole top. We now have what appears to be a fully cross banded desk top that is incredibly effective looking but achieved quickly for a viable budget.