AW Antiques & Collectibles Restoration

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Antique Tables - Restoration Projects

Victorian Mahogany Dining Tables, before and after photos.

The table needed to be cleaned and restored to be used again as a family piece. The top had split apart where it had been originally joined so needed to be re-glued and clamped back into place.
It was then cleaned and re-polished along with the reeded legs to make it a very useful and attractive table.

Marquetry Inlaid Circular Table Top

This beautiful inlaid marquetry table had an irregular split running through the centre of it. The solid Rosewood table had been constructed in two halves, unfortunately over time the wood had shrunk creating the split. Antique furniture has a habit of splitting due to being kept in centrally heated rooms, causing them to dry out. The table probably originated from the Far East, possibly Malaysia or Thailand.

Unable to cramp it back again, the split was filled with coloured wax, to match the wood colours. Cleaned to remove any surplus wax and old dirt, dust etc. using Colron Wax Remover. Finally it was given a coat of Finishing oil to protect it.
 Table top Before          Table top After Elephant table before and after photos.


This gate leg table with Oak top and Beech bobbin turned legs needed to be re-polished as the original stained varnish had become dull, scratchedl and was also water marked etc..
It is a very useful size for the modern home as when the flaps are folded down the actual size reduces to 12 inches wide by 24 inches long, so fits in any small space in the room.

Removing all of the original varnish it was then rubbed smooth with fine steel wool, then stained to match the base.
Finally given several coats of Finishing Oil which enhanced the warm colours of the wood which had been concealed by the old varnish.

This 1930s solid oak extending dining table required the surface finish to be completely stripped off by hand, as the owners request was to lighten the whole appearance.

This was done by using a strong varnish remover and lifting off with steel wool when softened. The effect off using the steel wool not only removes all the old varnish but also leaves the wood very smooth for final polishing. This process does not in anyway spoil the natural wood colour underneath. The table top because it had suffered water damage and had become stained was sanded to remove it, then polished to a smooth finish with fine sandpaper. Finally it was given a coat or two of finishing oil to leave a natural mellow colour.

Gate Leg Table

A very nice antique mahogany gate leg table of small dimensions.

The top had faded due to being positioned in direct light from a window. After removing the original finish the top was re-stained, to closely match it's original colour. It was then given a new finish by applying antique oil. Several coats were applied giving the finish some depth. Any loose joints were re-glued and the legs etc. were cleaned with antique wax remover and re-polished with antique oil.


This modern pine table top was scratched in transit.
In trying to remove it the owner decided to sand it down but unfortunately cut through the surface coating into new wood, which also made a slight groove in the soft pinewood.

To remedy this problem the original varnish coating was removed with Nitromors varnish/paint remover as described in other projects listed. Once that was done, it was necessary to even up the groove caused by the sandpaper. The whole table top was sanded back using fine emery paper. This has the effect of smoothing the wood down without tearing into the surface. Once that was done the top was stained in antique pine.

When dry it was given a coating of polyurethane varinish.

 Table top Before          Table top After

Inlaid Table

This rather nice inlaid Marquetry oval occasional table is what is termed a "marriage" meaning that the top and support were not made to match but were taken from two different pieces of furniture and made up. The top is walnut veneered and the base although covered in a dark varnish, showed when removed that is was solid oak.

The original finish on the table top was removed along with the water stain and re-polished. Once the dark varnish was removed from the base stand is was lightly stained to match the colour of the top

Below I have detailed two antique tables that have undergone a complete restoration.

The shaped top occasional table shown is in walnut, and had been rather neglected. When fashions changed these items tended to be relegated to the attic or shed.

This piece would have been made in the Edwardian period 1901-1910.

The old finish was completely removed and the wood smoothed off with fine steel wool. Instead of staining and polishing, a number of coats of boiled linseed oil were thinly applied to treat the wood. This would be done over a period of weeks, allowing each coat to soak in before applying the next.

This method gives a naturally deep and rich colour to the wood and will also act as a barrier against stains and water. Buffing with a duster afterwards, is all that is required.

Antique Table Restoration Photo Project 1 - Before        Antique Table Restoration Photo Project 1 - After

The following drop leaf mahogany Pembroke table was a popular design in the mid- to late 18th C. Possibly designed by Henry Herbert, Earl of Pembroke (1693-1751).

This example is in solid mahogany and dates around the mid-Victorian period. Still a very useful size, even today. It has one deep and one dummy drawer.

It was mostly in its original state and required little restoration except for a good clean and finally, french polishing.

Antique Table Restoration Photo Project 2 - Before        Antique Table Restoration Photo Project 2 - After

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If you would like advice or a quote on restoring an Antique Table, please get in touch by completing this short form. I am located in Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK.