The proper way to restore art deco furniture

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Art deco furniture has a variety of unique geometric designs and textures that allow you to bring some unique designs into your home and office spaces. However, like anything else, after repeated use furniture tends to wear out and need some type of restoration. How can you do a proper restoration on your Art Deco furniture?

Examine the Furniture to Assess the Damage

The first thing to do is walk around your Art Deco furniture and give it a complete inspection. Make a list of weaknesses and any damage. Start your assessment by pressing down hard on the frame and sides of the piece. Wobble it from side to side. If your Art Deco furniture feels sturdy, then you are ready to move on, but if it is wobbling, then there are specific steps you need to take to address that.

First, check for loose bolts and tighten them. Then use ribbiting and nailing where applicable to strengthen your wobbling joints.

There are also a variety of other types of damage to look for, including chips, cracks, or sections of loose veneer. Below we will discuss the different ways you can address these different issues to make your Art Deco furniture shine once more.

Other Restoration Options for Art Deco Furniture

If you have a chair or ottoman with some type of fabric, you might opt to reupholster your piece with a fresh fabric. Just keep in mind that when replacing the fabric, you want to find one that reflects the Art Deco theme. Reupholstering can be expensive, especially if you are looking to use original materials. You might use a bold color or vibrant pattern reflective of that era.

If your Art Deco furniture has chips or cracks, then you should consider getting the services of an expert to make those repairs. Look for someone who specializes in Art Deco restoration and has experience in woodworking or carpentry.

Art Deco Veneers

When it comes to Art Deco furniture, people frequently comment on the grand veneered finishes on ocean liner balustrades. Veneers can incur damage over time, but that does not mean you cannot restore your piece to its former glory. Iron over the brown to melt the original glue and address decades of imperfections. If at all possible, try to rescue or preserve that original veneer. If the glue does not reactivate or you need to add more, and then cut a slit into the blister, scrape away the old glue and add some fresh glue. Smooth it down, wipe away the access glue and then clamp the area down while the glue dries. If you need to replace a piece of veneer, you can have a professional do it, since it would need care and the experience of someone who can fix chips and repair veneer.

Lacquering is the final touch of your restoration. It will help to make your Art Deco piece look brand new and provide a level of protection against future damage.
If you are interested in owning Art Deco furniture or want more guidance about the restoration options available, our gallery team can help. Contact us today to learn more about your options.

Paul Stamati Gallery specializes in 20th Century decorative arts and is the world’s leading source for Art Deco lighting by Lalique.