Antique Gilded Furniture Restoration
At BAFRA, we provide access to antique gilded furniture restoration and restorers. Every member has been rigorously assessed and vetted. Our members are all established businesses that are fully accredited and work to the highest standards and ethics.
Antique Gilded Furniture Restorers at BAFRA
Antique gilded furniture restoration is a meticulous process that aims to revive and preserve the beauty of ornate pieces from bygone eras. Gilding, the application of gold leaf or gold powder to surfaces, was a popular decorative technique in furniture craftsmanship throughout history, especially during the Baroque and Rococo periods.
The restoration of antique gilded furniture typically involves a series of steps. Firstly, the piece is carefully examined to assess its condition, identifying areas of damage, flaking, or tarnish. A BAFRA skilled restorer then painstakingly removes layers of dirt, old varnish, and discoloured gilding, using delicate tools and solvents to avoid causing harm to the original surface.
Once cleaned, any missing or damaged ornamentation is meticulously recreated to match the original design, sometimes employing traditional techniques such as water gilding. The gilder skillfully applies gold leaf or powder, achieving a seamless integration with the existing gilding. The final step involves the application of a protective coating to safeguard the restored gilding from environmental factors.
Antique gilded furniture restoration not only rejuvenates the visual appeal of these historical pieces but also ensures their longevity, allowing future generations to appreciate the craftsmanship and artistry of the past. This specialised form of restoration combines art, history, and craftsmanship to breathe new life into treasures of a bygone era.
Antique Gilded Furniture Restoration FAQs
What is furniture gilding?
Gilding is a decorative technique that is used for applying a very thin coating of gold to solid surfaces such as wood, metal or stone. Gilded furniture may also be described as "gilt" or "giltwood" furniture. The golden colour of giltwood furniture comes from the application of this gold coating. Methods of gilding may include the hand application and glueing of gold leaf, chemical gilding, or electroplating (also called gold plating). More traditional gilding techniques still form an important part of frame-making and are also sometimes still employed in cabinetmaking.
Why is antique furniture often gilded?
Antique furniture is often gilded to enhance its aesthetic appeal and showcase the wealth and status of its owner. This decorative technique was particularly popular during historical periods like the Baroque and Rococo, reflecting opulence and sophistication. Gilding gives furniture a gold appearance at a fraction of the cost, it also does not tarnish. Additionally, solid gold would be too soft and heavy for practical use in furniture. Throughout the eighteenth century, gilded furniture was highly sought after and considered to be some of the finest furniture available during the time as it encapsulated the French style of decor.
What is antique gilded furniture restoration?
Antique gilded furniture restoration is a specialised process focused on preserving and revitalising antique furniture adorned with gold leaf or gold powder. BAFRA skilled restorers assess the piece's condition, addressing damage, flaking, or tarnish. The meticulous restoration involves delicate cleaning, repair, and recreation of missing gilded ornamentation to return the furniture to its original grandeur. Techniques like water gilding may be employed to apply gold leaf, ensuring seamless integration with the existing gilding. This intricate restoration not only enhances the visual appeal of historical pieces but also safeguards their cultural and artistic significance for future generations.
When does antique furniture need gilding restoration?
Antique furniture typically needs gilding restoration when the gold leaf or powder, applied for decorative purposes, shows signs of damage, flaking, tarnish, or wear. Gilding restoration becomes necessary to preserve the historical and aesthetic value of the piece, ensuring its longevity and maintaining the integrity of the original craftsmanship. There are many stages required to create a gilded surface, and years of wear tend to reveal the earlier stages of the gilding process as the furniture is rubbed back. It is common to see plasterwork in particularly worn areas of gilding. So it is not uncommon for gilded furniture to be restored and re-gilded, which brightens the gold surface.
Can gilded furniture be restored to its original condition?
Gilded furniture can indeed be restored to its original condition through meticulous craftsmanship and restoration techniques. BAFRA restorers specialising in gilded furniture restoration carefully assess the piece, addressing any damage, tarnish, or missing ornamentation. The process involves delicate cleaning, repair, and the application of gold leaf or powder to recreate the original gilding. Expertise in sculpting and carving ensures the accurate reproduction of any lost decorative elements. By combining traditional methods with contemporary restoration practices, BAFRA restorers aim to revive the historical and aesthetic essence of gilded furniture, allowing it to shine once again.
How do BAFRA experts assess the condition of antique gilded furniture?
BAFRA experts assess the condition of antique gilded furniture through careful examination, scrutinising for signs of damage, flaking, tarnish, or deteriorated gilding. This meticulous process involves a keen eye for detail and an understanding of historical craftsmanship. Craftsmen closely inspect the surface, identifying areas requiring attention and noting any structural issues. The assessment guides the restoration plan, allowing BAFRA experts to tailor their approach to the specific needs of each piece. By thoroughly evaluating the condition of the antique gilded furniture, our restoration professionals can determine the extent of cleaning, repair, and recreation required to bring the piece back to its original splendour.
How long does the gilding restoration process take?
The duration of the gilding restoration process varies based on factors such as the size of the furniture, the extent of damage, and the intricacy of the gilding work. Smaller pieces with minimal damage may take a few weeks, while larger or more intricate items might require several months for comprehensive restoration. BAFRA skilled craftsmen meticulously follow each step of the restoration process, including cleaning, repair, and gilding application. Patience and precision are essential to ensure that the gilded furniture is restored to its original condition with the utmost care, preserving its historical and artistic value for generations to come.
Why choose a BAFRA-accredited member for antique gilded furniture restoration?
The importance of having antique gilded furniture restored by a BAFRA-accredited qualified craftsman cannot be stressed enough. BAFRA members have in-depth knowledge based on more than 20 years of experience restoring, repairing and conserving antique gilded furniture. Members adhere to a strict code of conduct, emphasising integrity and transparency in their restoration work. Choosing a BAFRA-accredited restorer assures clients of skilled professionals who follow established standards, ensuring the preservation of historical and artistic value in antique gilded furniture. It provides confidence that the restoration process will be conducted with precision, authenticity, and a profound respect for the significance of each piece.
Find BAFRA Accredited Gilded Furniture Restorers
Many BAFRA members offer gilding as part of their services, but we also have members who specialise in gilded furniture restoration only.
All accredited, full members are required to have at least five years as a conservation-restoration professional (the average member today has 23 years experience) and pass an exacting assessment on their skills, knowledge and business credentials. Our members acknowledge the importance of continuous professional development to keep abreast of advances in knowledge, skills and technical developments in the craft of antique gilded furniture restoration and regilding.
Find BAFRA accredited antique gilded furniture restorers near you by clicking the button below and entering your postcode.