We frequently hear about customising tables and chairs with paint or new fabric. This can offer a quick and simple solution, but if you really want to restore and preserve an original piece, a furniture repair specialist can help bring it back to its former glory.
Vintage and antique wooden tables and chairs can break, flake and crumble in a multitude of ways, from water marks to woodworm. With the right expertise, these special heirloom furniture pieces can be revived.
Below is a comprehensive list of London-based furniture repair experts who are doing their bit to make furniture last longer, whilst keeping age old crafts alive.
p.s. Although some of the companies listed below do offer reupholstery services, you may also want to check out this related post 17 furniture upholstery specialists in London.
Established in 1979, Tony specialises in both antique and modern furniture repairs and restoration. Operating from his workshop in Crouch End, other services include French polishing, repairs to hardwood flooring and he also runs 1-3 day restoration courses.
Matthew Crawford took over his antique and vintage furniture restoration business from his grandfather, who started the company in the East End during the 1930s. The After Noah team specialise in repair of collectible wooden furniture made up to the 1970s.
Services include restoration of damaged veneers, inlay and marquetry, French polishing, chair caning, reupholstery, leather desk lining, wood turning and carving, as well as glazing and mirror repairs.
Since 1994 Boyle’s have specialised in French polishing and wood flooring restoration. They also offer a revolutionary technique that allows you to modernise your wood with coloured undertones. A precise colour, tone, shade and finish can be matched to specific paint palettes by companies such as Farrow & Ball, Behr and Little Greene.
John Lawler has been restoring antique and modern furniture at his workshop on Hornsey high street since 1993. He works with a wide range of private clients, interior designers and antique dealers.
John also runs classes in antique furniture restoration, upholstery, wood turning, caning, rush seating, French polishing, sewing and carving.
Founded in 1952 and members of the Guild of Master Craftsmen, A. J. Brett are a team of antique furniture restorers with experience in all types of English and continental furniture. They have considerable expertise in furniture from the 18th and 19th century, Art Deco and Biedermeier periods.
In addition to antique restoration, services include gilding, French polishing, upholstery, cabinet making and leather repair.
From private households to embassies, London Restorers have a diverse client base that includes Westminster Cathedral, Chanel and the Tower of London.
They can restore both modern and traditional furniture, with special expertise in 18th and 19th-century English and European pieces. As well as wood restoration and finishing, they offer caning and rushing services.
Serving the Greenwich and Blackheath area, Almar have been reviving antique and modern furniture since 1990. Furniture repair services include restoration, French polishing, reupholstery. They also specialise in wood floor sanding and restoration of stairs and banisters.
Plowden & Smith are fine art and furniture restorers, professionally accredited to the Institute of Conservation. They are also a member of the International Council of Museums.
Using the latest scientific research, they undertake restoration, conservation and exhibition projects for galleries, collectors and museums located all around the world. Recent projects include condition reporting for an Anish Kapoor exhibition.
The team also has considerable expertise in furniture restoration and have carried out such projects for the National Trust, English Heritage, the Royal Opera House and the Kode Museum in Norway.
Katie Keat trained in Furniture Restoration and Conservation at the London College of Furniture. She has over 20 years experience in restoring furniture and is fully accredited by BAFRA (The British Antique Furniture Restorers Association).
In addition to cabinet making, French polishing and refinishing, Katie also has experience in boulle work (tortoise shell), gilding and carving. Recently she appeared on BBC’s ‘Money for Nothing.’
Ryan Stanborough established his company in 2004 after training as a French polisher at London College of Furniture. Services also include furniture repair, reupholstery, chair caning, rush seating and routine maintenance for hotels, offices and retail shops.
After graduating from London Metropolitan University, Rosie, Johnny and Tom worked in London workshops and furniture dealerships.
They specialised in mid century furniture restoration, antique furniture restoration and heritage interior restoration, before deciding to set up their own studio.
The team have also appeared on several episodes of BBC’s ‘Money for Nothing’.
Deborah Hurst studied furniture design at The London College of Furniture, and woodcarving and gilding at London’s City & Guilds Art School.
Specialist techniques include restoration of mid-century modern furniture, traditional gilding on furniture, mirror and picture frames, carving, upholstery, caning and rushwork.
Savino del Prete is a member of BAFRA and has been selected by LAPADA (. Amongst their many restoration skills, they are specialists in pietra dura – an inlay technique using cut highly polished coloured stones to create a decorative image. They also work with stone and wood carving, exotic woods, gilding, marble and metalwork.
Services at John Peter Churchill include furniture repair, restoration and upholstery for antique and modern pieces, as well as French polishing and leather repairs. They also offer free collection and delivery within the M25.
Restoration Station is a social enterprise run by the Spitalfields Crypt Trust charity. They work with people in recovery from drink and drug addictions, training them in woodwork and upholstery skills whilst creating a supportive environment.
Vintage furniture from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s is restored at their workshop outlet on Shoreditch High Street. They also take on private commissions and can help with bespoke projects using reclaimed materials.
With over 40 years in the business, Frenchtell can assist with furniture restoration projects of all sizes. In addition to repairs and polishing, they can treat scratches, ripped upholstery, dents and structural damage.
After studying furniture conservation and restoration at Buckingham University, Matthew Stevens started his career as a box restorer in Northamptonshire, before setting up his own business.
The company have restored furniture for interior designers, galleries and businesses across London with a client list that includes The Savoy, the BBC and the V&A Museum.
From heirloom antiques to market finds, Joseph Aaron can help with a wide range of furniture repairs. They offer services such as veneer repairs, rush and cane seating, woodworm treatment, removal of scratches or watermarks and gold leaf gilding.
A family business dating back to 1870, F. Bennett and Son are one of the oldest French polishing companies in London.
They restore dining and boardroom tables, panelling, bookcases, desks, staircases and doors, working in situ or off site, according to the client’s needs.
Titian Studio was established in 1963 as a fine antique furniture restoration company. Their restoration work includes, water and oil gilding, Export lacquer, Japan work, painted furniture and cabinet work. The studio also reproduces fine pieces of furniture to match existing items.