We only strip by hand using a “flow over” process. The item is carefully taken apart as needed (doors, hardware, glass etc.) and then placed in a large shallow trough. The stripper is kept in a reservoir and then pumped through a bristled brush onto the surface. The specially formulated chemical will not harm the patina or the original sanding of the piece. This is important in maintaining its antique value. The item is then rinsed with clear water to clean off any remaining chemical. Sometimes special chemicals are used to remove water staining or discoloring.
We look for and repair any loose joints by carefully taking apart the joint, cleaning off old glue and repairing any broken parts or dowels. The drawer glides and doors are checked for function and repaired as required. Table leaves are checked for fit. Legs and bases are made solid again. Any loose veneer is glued down and small missing pieces are filled in with veneer of the same type. Larger areas may need replacing and we maintain an inventory of old veneer for this purpose. Missing parts are recreated and missing carving is hand duplicated, edges are smoothed, and we check that the piece is square and working properly.
Small nicks and dents are steamed out to prevent the further removal of more wood or veneer. Because of our stripping method, the original sanding is not harmed and only a light sanding for cleanup is required. Large top surfaces are “block sanded” to provide a flat surface.
We will ask you to come in at this point to see the progress and work with our finisher to select a color, based on the natural color of the wood or a provided sample. We can match most colors and effects, but not perfectly. We will get as close as possible. All interiors and drawer interiors are sealed and finished. Grainy woods such as mahogany and walnut are filled with a colored paste to close the grain and provide a smooth finish after the coats are applied. We have a selection of sheens and hand rubbed effects to choose from.