Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)-
Do you offer pick up and delivery?
Yes, we offer pick up and delivery in Northern VA and Eastern WV. We do not currently service Maryland and D.C. In most cases we can offer you complimentary pick up and delivery for larger items. Exclusions apply to minor services under $500 and difficulty in accessing furniture. Please contact us for more information.
What type of finish do you use?
We use a post-cat lacquer, which is the highest quality finish commercially available. This means we mix and add the catalyst to the finish ourselves, which makes it a lot more durable and water resistant. We can also adjust for different conditions. Most furniture manufacturers use a pre-cat lacquer which is mixed at the finish manufacturing plant. A post-cat lacquer only has a shelf life of a few hours after mixing because of the strength of the catalyst. Where as a pre-cat lacquer has a shelf life of a few months after opening.
What process is used to refinish my furniture?
Refinishing is a long process which involves taking the furniture back down to bare wood through stripping and sanding with several different sandpaper grits. This process from rough to fine grits preps the surface for stain and sealer and smooths out sanding marks. Once properly prepared, the customers choice of stain is applied and a sealer is sprayed onto the furniture. The sealer is then sanded smooth for the finish top coat(s) and shading if desired. This doesn’t include any repairs that may be necessary, which is frequently necessary for antiques. This could involve re-gluing, re-veneering, or even replicating damaged parts of the piece of furniture.
Do you offer on-site repair services?
No, we are not currently staffed to offer this type of work. There are a number of companies that specialize in on-site repair who can help with this.
How do I know if my furniture is worth refinishing or if I should just buy new?
There are a number of factors that go into this decision. Let’s examine the following:
- The first thing to consider is the age of the piece of furniture. Antiques are generally worth restoring because of the superior way they were made and the high quality materials used. Most modern furniture is sadly made to be thrown away. A lot of companies (even high end ones) use an MDF core with a nice veneer on top. MDF is basically compressed saw dust, which is ruined if it gets wet because it swells up. Don’t mistake the veneer for the problem, many antiques are veneered! The major difference is that it was applied to solid wood on antiques, instead of MDF. It can be fixed by a craftsman who is experienced with working on veneer. Yes, we do a lot of veneer work, Joe is an expert at it! Veneer is used to incorporate a more expensive wood to a piece of furniture without the high cost like if it was solid wood.
- The second consideration is whether the furniture is sentimental. Most of the work we do is on family heirlooms. Nothing beats the memories that accompany them. There are also many ways to update your furniture to give it a new look that fits your style. Most people are amazed at how something in terrible condition can turn out. After they are restored to their former glory, they can continue to be passed on to the next generations!
- Third would be to consider the cost to buy new vs. refinishing and/or repairing. Sometimes it can cost as much to refinish as to buy new, but the end result in refinishing can be worth it. New furniture which is built in a factory is very quickly mass produced and finished in assembly line fashion, which is great for the manufacturers bottom line, but not so great for the customer who is looking for high quality over inexpensive furniture. This is why you may find problems such as water rings from setting down your glass and sanding marks on your new furniture. A good refinishing company takes the time to perfect your furniture and can put a much higher quality finish on to protect it.
Can’t you just touch up my furniture?
It depends on the situation and what the damage is. Sometimes something can just be touched up, but we don’t usually do that type of work. You may be able to find someone to come do an on-site touch up for you. If there is a scratch that has gone through the finish, you will still be able to see the mark with a touch up, but it will be less obvious. To completely remove the mark, it will need to be sanded or buffed out, but then it may need to be refinished. If the damage isn’t on a high profile part of the furniture, such as a table top, you may be able to get away with making it less obvious with a touch up.
I have an idea for a piece of furniture I want made. Can you build it for me?
Yes, we take on a limited number of custom pieces. We specialize in high quality, old world constructed, solid wood furniture. We can use your design or design something from your ideas, or replicate a piece you already own. Contact us for a consultation.
Can you appraise my furniture?
No, unfortunately we can not help with the appraisal of antiques and other furniture. The age, condition, rarity, and manufacturer all play a part. The value is ultimately what someone will pay for something at any given time. We can not guarantee you will be able to sell your furniture for an amount relative to what you paid to have it restored.