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Dovetail Restoration also specializes in finish restoration.


A multi-level process that requires time and patience, there are many degrees to which we can perform this task. Finish restoration techniques include the ever-popular "strip and finish" method. Even though this is a very common form of our business, we feel that it is also an overused process.


At Dovetail, we feel that it is important to evaluate each piece of furniture individually and determine how to best preserve its historical integrity, if it has any. Let’s face it, while pieces are just too new to worry about historical preservation, they too, often need work to keep them functional and attractive. Not all finishes need to be replaced. We also specialize in the restoration of antique finishes as well as the repair of finishes.


Our finish restoration process starts by the removal of the worn out finish. This is done by hand. There is no dipping in our procedure.

After the worn out finish is carefully removed, the piece is sanded to whatever degree is necessary. We try to do as little as possible; however, some is necessary to remove any residue. From this point we decide what color to use if any. This is decided upon by the customer with the support of the Dovetail staff. During the evaluation process, we can decide what color is appropriate from a historical prospective as well as the desire of the customer. After the coloring process, a finish of choice is applied. Finish choices vary from piece to piece. One of the oldest finishes would be wax. It is a natural product and is very repairable. It is, however, not very durable. This is usually the choice of more informal and country pieces, especially those made of pine.


Shellac is probably the next oldest finish and is also the most popular of our finishes. This was used in most older antiques. It is a user friendly finish. It gives a very attractive finish and gives a beautiful depth of color to a piece of furniture. It is, however, not the most the durable. It is the most recommended by our staff.


Lacquer is the most visible finish on the market today. It arrived on the market just after the industrial revolution. It is used on almost all commercial furniture today. It is sometimes repairable but does not bring out the best in our opinion.


Varnishes are one of the most durable finishes and therefore are used on table tops. It is usually not that easy to repair and often requires the job to be repeated if damage occurs. There are many forms of varnish. One of the most popular forms of this today would be polyurethane.


Most of our finishes are put on by hand, just as it would have been done centuries ago. The amount of finish is usually determined by the desired sheen or amount of gloss. The more finish applied the more depth and beauty the wood will reveal. After a number of coats have been applied, the finish is given a final polish to smooth out the finish. All of our pieces are given a final coat of wax that will give the piece a last bit of protection. Wax is our recommended form of maintenance; however, there are other choices such as oils.


Metal Furniture

As with wooden furniture, metal furniture and other related products need to be repaired or refinished. At Dovetail, we have the skills to repair and refinish or polish metal furniture as well as work the things as simple as a lamp or candlestick.


We also handle welding repairs. Do not throw out that object or piece of metal furniture. It may not be as bad as you think. Contact us and see what we can do.


As always, the customer has the final say as to how the piece will look in the end, however, nature has given us some limitations.