You Did WHAT? The Restoration Methods to Avoid When it Comes to Antiques

Not all restoration techniques are the same. While some add to the look of the piece, some can outright ruin them. By ruin, we’re not referring to the overall appearance. It has something to do with the value of the piece as well.


Today, we take a look at antique restoration methods that should be avoided.


This refers to removing the previous finish and putting in a new one. If we’re talking about a swimming pool, this would be a resurfacing job. Much like resurfacing a pool, there is significant abrasive handling of the antique. In order for the new finish to do its job properly, all traces of the previous finish needs to be completely scrubbed off. If done improperly, you can damage the antique.

When it is done properly, the antique can indeed look new.

Even if the antique is intact throughout the process, after the new finish is applied, the overall value of the piece is reduced. If you’re looking to sell your refinished antique, you’d best be prepared to significantly lower its price.



This is one restoration method that should be avoided if you want to keep it intact or keep the value of your antique. When antiques are stripped, they are usually completely submerged in a chemical bath. This is to completely remove any sort of finish and patina that exists on the piece. If the piece is a previously restored antique, the chemical bath will even remove any glue that was used.

When you strip an antique, the veneer can end up peeling and fragile joints can end up swelling or breaking. When this occurs, the antique can completely fall apart and will need to be rebuilt from the base upwards. Once an antique is stripped, it loses all of its value. So you end up with something that you cannot resell in good faith.


Final thoughts

If you are aiming to restore your antique, it’s best to choose a method that does not risk the complete or drastic loss of the piece’s value.

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