Case Study

Large Scale Solid Oak Furniture Restoration


We were tasked by Magdalen College, Oxford University to try and refurbish their entire collection of 100+ year-old solid oak bedroom suites – something not currently achievable by any commercial furniture manufacturer or restorer. This sort of restoration is normally only undertaken by museum specialists (such as the Victoria & Albert Museum) and then only on specific individual museum pieces, which takes months, if not years, to complete at exorbitant cost.

The detailed challenges lay in updating traditional restoration techniques / practices to make them quicker, safer and more efficient. These included:

  • Design and development of innovative tooling
  • Adapting modern materials to match original detailing, e.g. colour and sheen of stains on wood
  • Designing and trialling new application methods for staining, lacquering, etc.
  • Investigating the use of alternative materials to replace traditional ones, e.g. solvents, adhesives, strippers, fixings, etc.; especially where the modern alternatives reduce time taken to achieve a task, thus making the overall process more efficient and cost effective.

This detailed and complex project was completed successfully and the client was very pleased.