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Restoration man

Got a chair, table or some other piece of furniture in need of first aid – or intensive care? Piers Keating to the rescue...

I went to an auction last week where some of the lots weren’t just in need of a quick polish – one or two were just a pile of legs, sides, drawers and assorted other bits and bobs. Somerset’s super-skilled furniture restorer Piers Keating would have sorted that out in a jiffy. Well maybe not a jiffy, restoring things to their original, beautiful state sometimes takes a little time but Piers has the know-how and years of experience to restore all types of furniture, whatever their age or condition.

So, take this Windsor chair. Looks like someone’s been trying to turn it into firewood. Piers got out his lathe to turn new stretchers (the bars across the front of the chair legs), glued it all back together and then gave it a good wax to bring out the beautiful colour of the yew.

He’s brilliant at the invisible repair. This carved and lacquered panel, which came originally from an 18/19th century Chinese bed, had been remade into a modern mirror frame. Somewhere along the line, it had been chipped (right there on the upper edge). Piers cut out the damaged areas, glued new sections in place and then cleverly used different acrylic paints and shellac to achieve the aged patina of the original. Can you see the join?

Now you see me….now you don’t

This mahogany Victorian desk, with an adjustable writing slope in the middle,  definitely needed some TLC. The original leather insets were very worn and the mahogany had lost its colour and become opaque.

antique desk for restoration

Piers gets to work…

Piers believes in minimal intervention, so although the leather inserts were old and a bit battered he just gave them a wax treatment to enhance their age and beauty (can I have a wax treatment too, Piers?),  removed the old polish on mahogany to reveal the original surface underneath and then waxed it to a warm, coloured glow. Here it is, restored to its former glory and ready to have a tome displayed upon it (you’ve got a giant tome, right?)

If you’ve got a chair, table or other piece of furniture that could benefit from a session or two with Piers, just give him a buzz – no job too small or repair too big, he says  – so why not put him to the test?



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