Wood restoration- how it works


Have you ever requested quotes from two different companies resulting in thinking "What a rip off?" as one names a much higher price than the other? Guilty as charged? Me too! 
But have you ever asked yourself what makes such substantial differences in quotes appear? There are so many ways to cut corners in order to offer competitive prices. It can be hard to get one’s head around what goes into restoring a piece of furniture. After all, it’s not something most people do themselves, hence why they need an upholstery service.

At 'dumped & ditched ' we are trying to be as transparent and informative as we can in our estimates. When you ask for a quote, we want you to feel confident in knowing what the actual costs are. We pride ourselves in explaining all the different steps that are needed to achieve the look and feel that we are aiming for. Transforming a piece of furniture can either be a superficial facelift, or a full makeover.


The wood restoration illustrates this transformation beautifully, like on this armrest.


The wood restoration on a such type of frames as those in the image above take 4-5 hours. 
WOW- right?! And I guess if you are not familiar with such work processes this might come as a surprise. Further, after removing all ironmongery, the frame gets degreased and then the sanding process begins. This is done in four rounds, with different graded sanding paper. This removes the varnish, and the wood is refined into an even smoother surface. Between each round I lift the grain to ensure the surface is flawless. While a table is relatively quick to sand down with one large surface to service, chairs have surprisingly many surfaces, and oddly angled corners, which involves a lot of hand sanding.


Wood changes colour when it gets wet, like when the varnish or oil hits its surface. We want this colour to be in harmony with the fabric, hence if necessary, I stain (sometimes even mix a colour) to make it the perfect match.  If, like this chair, the different panels are different in colour, where a lighter meets a darker piece of wood at the joint, I try to counterbalance this with the stain. My preferred method of seal is oil, it penetrates into the wood and nourishes the timber while protecting it against damages and moisture. Typically, 2-3 layers of oil are required, which I rub in with steel wool, and once it has cured, use beeswax to give it its final polish.

At this stage I then stabilize the chair, gluing and joint together that might have come loose and refit all metal parts. 

And that's just the frame. 
You see, sufficient time is required to achieve a certain finish.


I am so pleased with these chairs. Joye have had them in her family for many years and it was time for them to get a new lease of life. After looking at a variety of fabrics the choice quickly fell on Rami plus, a gorgeous wool weave from Svensson Interior Textiles. How satisfying it is to see the transformation of old chairs into chic eye catchers!

britta de laat