Repair, don’t replace - give your old furniture a new lease of life

PUBLISHED: 16:24 30 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:14 30 March 2020

Why go through the hassle of purchasing new furniture when you could give your old pieces a facelift instead? Image: Getty Images

Why go through the hassle of purchasing new furniture when you could give your old pieces a facelift instead? Image: Getty Images

Archant

Your antique, off-trend dressing table may seem ready for the skip, but why buy new when you could up-do?

Furniture restoration is the process of carefully refreshing old, antique pieces. Image: Getty ImagesFurniture restoration is the process of carefully refreshing old, antique pieces. Image: Getty Images

We spoke to Jonathan Hateley, owner of Barrington Decorators to get the lowdown on furniture restoration.

What is furniture restoration?

Furniture restoration is a cosmetic process to repair or refresh free-standing pieces or fixed interior elements such as joinery and kitchen cabinets.

The goal is to maintain the integrity of the antique or vintage piece, and nurse it back to life.

When should I refinish my antique furniture?

Although some people believe that restoring antique furniture isn't a good idea, as long as your piece isn't too unique, it will actually increase in value following a refresh. Image: Getty ImagesAlthough some people believe that restoring antique furniture isn't a good idea, as long as your piece isn't too unique, it will actually increase in value following a refresh. Image: Getty Images

There’s a lot of speculation around whether it’s a good idea to refresh a vintage piece - some people think it could devalue it.

“Unless the piece is incredibly valuable or finished with a hand-painted technique, cleaning and restoring your furniture could actually result in an increase in value,” Jonathan says.

“Before choosing to restore your antique furniture you should check whether your piece is unusual - if it is, you may be better to leave it alone.”

“Look for marks and labels as this could give away if the piece was made by a notable craftsman.”

Although some up-cycling can be done at home, antique furniture restoration is a job for the experts. Image: Barrington DecoratorsAlthough some up-cycling can be done at home, antique furniture restoration is a job for the experts. Image: Barrington Decorators

“Restoration is incredibly sensitive work and it’s best to only do what’s needed.”

How much does furniture repair cost?

Depending on who you enlist and the type of work that’s required, furniture repair can cost anywhere from £70 - £300.

It’s always best to check a company’s credentials and experience beforehand – often you’re better off paying that little bit more for high-quality work, rather than opting for the cheaper option and being disappointed with the result.

Where can I get my furniture restored?

Taking on a DIY project for your furniture is all well and good, but antique furniture restoration is really a job for the professionals.

Jonathan says: “We take every care at Barrington Decorators to sensitively restore furniture, joinery, cabinetry, floors, wood elements, decorative plasterwork and even windows.”

“We’re actually one of only a few workshops that offer traditional window glazing – there’s only two glazing machines left in Europe.”

Barrington Decorators have also developed their own limewash paint. Limewash is the better option when restoring vintage furniture as it stains and ‘feeds’ the material, rather than coating it in paint.

Barrington Decorators workshop is based in Cheltenham and is open 8.30am - 4.30pm, Monday to Saturday. On appointment, anyone is welcome to drop off their furniture for repair or discuss any other restoration work or property improvement projects with a member of their friendly team.

Barrington Decorators is currently following government advice and is temporarily closed until further notice. Please check their Facebook page or contact them using the information below for enquiries in the meantime.

For more information visit www.barringtondecorators.com.

Contact them on 01242 460104 or workshop@barringtondecorators.com.

Barrington Decorators Ltd, Withytree Farm, Broadway Road, Winchcombe, Cheltenham GL54 5NT.

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