We all have an antique or fine art piece we absolutely love … but can’t bear to look at. Why? Because there is an imperfection or flaw we can’t help but notice. Flaking lacquer or gilding. Water-damaged wood, sun-damaged rugs, or smoke-damaged art. Chipped marble or stone. Split or frayed upholstery, torn leather, bald spots on a highly-trafficked carpet.
The impulse to pick up sandpaper or a paintbrush or a needle can be overpowering at times. But unless you are an experienced conservator or restorer, you are just as likely to destroy the value of your prized piece as you are to save it. Images of the well-meaning but unskilled restoration of a century-old fresco of Jesus crowned with thorns in the small village of Borja, Spain, by an elderly widow and amateur painter blew up the internet a few years ago. While that botched repair job went viral (and regained its value by becoming a tourist draw) most botched DIY touch-ups do not turn out so well.
The skilled, experienced restoration team at Mind’s Eye approaches restoration with a gentle and thoughtful hand. The mending of well-made objects is a true art and we take our work very seriously. So when should you bring a piece to our attention?
It’s Time For A Furniture Touch-Up When…
Paint or gilding begins to flake.
Patina—or the finish of your piece—is treasured by collectors as a way of dating production and evaluating quality. An object’s patina plays a very large role in its overall value. Preserving the value of an aged patina while protecting everyone in your home is a delicate balance best undertaken by professionals. Repairs to paint or varnishes also raise safety issues: older pieces may use materials like lead paint that are dangerous if ingested by children or pets. And gilding and gesso repair is particularly exacting, requiring many different oils, pigments, and powders to match.
We are able to match colors and textures and mend small or larger areas seamlessly, all while using age-old methods that harmonize with the history of your piece.
Threads begin to fray.
A handmade antique carpet is held together by the horizontal and vertical threads of warp and weft. As the pile of an older rug wears down, this framework is exposed—and once it breaks, the entire piece will rapidly begin to fall apart. If you can see the underlying “grid” in your rug, it is time to take the carpet to a professional restorer. Using appropriate weaving techniques and dyes for the origin and age of your piece, master weavers can patch or re-weave your rug to a collector’s exacting standards.
The upholstery on antique furniture can also spring at the seams and allow the stuffing to escape. A knowledgeable upholsterer will be able to match colors and materials
Ceramic or stone chips or shatters.
Did you know that there is an entire Japanese art called Kintsugi, or “golden joinery,” that fixes broken pottery with beautiful seams of gold, silver, or platinum? Most professional repairs of broken objects are much more difficult to detect. If you snap the arm off a vintage ceramic figurine or drop a Tiffany vase, it may seem that all is lost. But an experienced restoration team knows the appropriate epoxies and techniques to rebuild what is broken while making sure the piece continues to hold value. These repairs can be virtually undetectable (and seem absolutely magical). Gather up every piece—even fragments and dust—and call us.
You can’t see what is in the picture.
Canvas, in all its many forms, is very susceptible to time. Sometimes a painting is worn away or torn and other times it is obscured by layers of dirt and grime. If your painting has any age or value, we do not recommend cleaning or repairing it yourself. Fine art restoration takes extensive research, exceptional skill, and so much patience. Even basic cleaning demands an understanding of the right cleansers for the material, the amount of pressure to apply, the potential financial impact, and the proper look to be achieved.
At Mind’s Eye, we always provide you with an estimate before beginning work and walk you through the potential issues and timeframe for the repair. Our goal is to protect the artwork—and your investment.
The thrill of returning an antique or fine art piece to its original glory never gets old! Mind’s Eye repair and restoration specialists are always on hand to review a restoration and recommend a course of action. Call 800-428-9800 to discuss your figurine collection with one of our specialists.