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Conservation & Restoration courses

Personalized restoration training

Personalized conservation / restoration training is available with course times, duration and content being flexible to suit your needs. The service we offer is very much on a one-to-one basis (maximum of 2 students), with students working alongside me and my colleague in a working restoration studio. We will help you through your project and at the same time you will no doubt get to see some of the projects that pass through the workshop.

All courses are conducted in a supportive atmosphere, with help and advice available throughout the course of the day, after your initial tutorial you will be expected to undertake the relevant practical work unsupervised once you are comfortable - your personal development is always my top priority and relevant restoration literature can be provided if required during the week.

On the daytime courses you will also have the benefit of observing two professional conservator-restorers during the course of their daily work, benefiting from 25 years of experience along with in house expertise up to Masters degree level.


restoration courses
Customer Reviews

"I did my research to find an expert and found David. He is an expert !

I spent almost a week restoring an antique cabinet under his supervision. It was a rewarding, fascinating and happy experience.

David knows what he is doing.

You wont be disappointed."

Dr. G Byrne - 05/09/2012

Furniture Conservation & Restoration courses

Course content

We can teach you about ethical conservation and restoration theory , choosing tools and tuning them, advanced sharpening techniques including Japanese water-stones and oil-stones.

We can show you techniques for dismantling furniture, repairs to joints, structural assessment and repairs, techniques for restoration of veneers inlays and decorative work including Boullework and brass inlay. removing bloom, blemishes and other surface damage from antique furniture.

We will show you the professional scientifically led approach to the restoration of finishes and decorative surfaces using advanced conservation techniques used in museums and galleries.

We can teach you traditional craft skills such as French polishing, wood-turning and cabinetmaking.

Antique furniture is often a highly mixed media including the conservation and restoration of ormolu and brass, ivory, mother of pearl and leather, the sourcing, finishing and ageing of replacement metal fittings.

Subjects Covered

1. Sourcing, evaluating and maintenance of tools, which tools to buy, where to buy them and how to buy the best for your budget.

2. Sharpening, tuning and using hand tools, the use of Japanese water-stones and other water sharpening techniques, the use of oil stones and when to use each one.

3. Beginners’ woodworking skills; face and edge, timber preparation, mortice and tenon joints, halving joints, dovetails wood-turning, carving and construction techniques.

4. Conservation and restoration principles, the correct approach to the evaluation and conservation of antique furniture and objects.

5. Disassembly using controlled techniques, re-gluing loose joints and re-laying loose veneers.

6. Adhesives and finishes suitable for antique furniture – their preparation and use, clamping and cramping techniques.

7. Conservation and the cleaning of old surfaces; a measured approach to surface cleaning, including the reduction and removal of stains and water marks.

8. An introduction to the science of producing and also the application of shellac finishes and wax polishes.

9. The staining of timber, working with coloured finishes and polishes, the professional way to improve localised colour anomalies.

10. The removal and cleaning furniture fittings; brass/ormolu mounts and handles, sourcing replacement for losses and the controlled ageing and colouring of these replacement brass fittings.

11. An introduction to the common furniture beetle (woodworm) – its life cycle and the various treatment options available to the working professional.

12. Collections management skills including the day to day care of antique furniture in collections and in the home.

13. Traditional Hand Finishing Techniques for use with handmade furniture and objects, French polishing, oiled and wax finishes.


The workshop is located in Hambledon, Hampshire - there is a nice 4 star hotel 10 mins away; - and the 3 star De Vere Venues New Place Shirrell Heath SO32 2JH; that often has reductions for mid week stays.

Both options are close to my home, so I can pick you up and drop you off if that helps.


group size 1/2 day 1 day 3 days
1 £130 £250 £650
2 £200 £350 £900

(1/2 Days are available either Saturday morning or mid-week)

Each day (10am - 5pm) or 1/2 day (10am - 1pm) includes personal tutorial time, a workspace,  the use of tools and materials in order to complete your project, and as much tea and coffee as you can drink!

Packed lunch is recommended otherwise lunch is available locally, with a range of cooked options and sandwiches always available at village prices.

Antique Interiors French Polishing Clock Movement restoration Stucco and plaster restoration
Furniture Restoration Clock Conservation Metals Conservation Conservation courses Clocks for sale Contact