Which finish for your antique furniture?

Sponge-applied varnish

The traditional sponge-applied varnish is a shellac, a resin secreted by an insect, diluted in alcohol.

The sponge is a ball of wool surrounded by cotton fabric. Varnishing is carried out in four or five stages of several hours spread out over several days.

This varnish best brings out the wood’s true colour and its veins.

Different sheens and patinas: filler waxing, wool pack waxing, mat finish…

The waxed pore filler is an interesting alternative to sponge-applied varnishes. This finish, which is just as beautiful, produces a softer brilliance and also costs a bit less because it is less time consuming.

We can create a range of several types of patina finishes by using a sponge, by filling the wood’s pores by adding either wax or a few drops of pore filler (a varnish made from shellac, fine pumice and cellulose), or even both.

As we say in my profession, furniture will filled is furniture well finished.

The fitting of leather, felt and book-binding paper

I have no problem with anything that involves the finishes inherent to the presentation of a restored object.

Whether it is affixing leather to the flap of a desk or a secretary, baize or cloth on a games table, casings for boxes or even interior linings for cabinets using book-binding paper.

For that, I call on the assistance of serious professionals who are experts in their domain.

Gilding: cleaning, patina…

On a piece of furniture, the gilded bronze aims at highlighting and enhancing the decoration on the marquetry and reflects in the sponge-applied varnish. An older technique, dating back to the late 11th century, involved an amalgamation using mercury. Today it has been replace by electrolysis.

I myself will take care of cleaning and revitalizing the gilding when possible and the preservation of an old patina is desired.

Otherwise, I will employ the competences of knowledgable professionals.

In the same vein, when certain parts of a piece of furniture, often a cabinet, have been embellished with fine gold leaf, I will do what is in my capacity before calling on a wood gilder to put the finishing touches to it.


I can also rehabilitate old painted patinas on all types of furnishings: tables, grandfather clocks and chairs, in particular after the customary restoration.

Once again, I entrust work that demands particular or delicate expertise to competent professionals passionate about their art.