Furniture Refinishing & Repair
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Furniture Refinishing & Repair
Professional to refinish a 'tansu' cabinet?
We're looking to have someone come to our home to refurbish
a Japanese tansu cabinet. Previous owners turned it into a
bathroom vanity so we cannot have it taken in somewhere.
Hoping to find someone experienced with this type of piece.
Thanks much! Audrey
Hi Audrey - Kiku Imports in SF have a team of folks who
refinish all their tansu and furniture from Japan. They
might be able to help you. Call them soon though, they're
actually closing their store soon. ;-( Their website is
http://www.kikuimports.com Debbie L.
Dina Rubiolo does impeccable furniture restoration and
refinishing. She a master furniture maker and has taught
furniture-making and design at the college level,. She is
honest, responsible, experienced and skilled - and busy -
and nice! She built us a beautiful maple table, and
refinished an older oak table perfectly. You can reach her
at firstname.lastname@example.org , and view her work on her website
www.dinarubiolo.com. Happy customer
You are in luck! Gary Twitchell is fabulous, reasonable, and
makes house calls. His number is 510.862.6528. His website
is www.rahnwordworking.com. I'd LOVE to find a tansu bath
vanity myself, so if you decide to let it go, please let me
know. Terry M
I'm looking for a reasonably priced person to sand & paint 2
side tables, kitchen table & chairs. The side tables each
You might try Dina Rubiolo (510) 566-0619, if she has time.
She's great! Experienced furniture- maker, wood-worker,
builder. She knows wood extremely well, does great work, is
clean, responsible, reasonable. Been very happy with all
the work she has done for us. Check out the 'furniture'
section of her website (Dinarubiolo.com) for examples of the
gorgeous furniture she makes! She also does furniture
refinishing and restoration work.
Good luck with your project.
Very happy customer
Rocking chair repair
I have a children's rocking chair- not an antique but at
least 40 years old.
It is in good condition except one of the posts going into
one of the runners has broken (not a clean break), leaving
part of the peg in the runner and the other in the chair
I'm imagining all it might take for me to do it is a drill
to remove the peg from each side, a new peg with some glue
AND some skill, all of which I am lacking.
Any recommendations on who could help? Any recommendations
on a good woodworker?
Alpha Restoration Studios in Emeryville is great. Guy Bovie,
the owner & wood craftsman, did a great job fixing my two
living room chairs after UPS busted the wood legs and also
fixed a wood desk chair. He even gave me free, detailed,
advice on how to clean and refinish our dining room table
myself. I called him numerous times with questions and even
though I think I made a pain of myself he was totally
patient and helpful. He's a great person, easy to work
with, and has very reasonable prices(I compared his prices
to others before working with him.) Definitely give him a
call 510-658-8579 Reva
Repair for Duncan Phyfe-style drop-leaf dining table
We have a Duncan Phyfe-style drop-leaf dining table that is
in need of repair. Can anyone refer a good and reliable
furniture repair person/business in Berkeley/Oakland area?
We love the people at Alpha Restoration Studio in
Emeryville. They did an excellent and inexpensive job of
restoring a set of old oak dining chairs--we couldn't be
happier with the results. Very pleasant and friendly people.
They're at 4512 Hollis Street, Emeryville, CA
Judy in Berkeley
Antique Furniture Restorer
Has anyone used Giorgio Di Costanzo for restoring antiques in the last
2 years? Amy
While I haven't used the restorer you mentioned, I just had to put
a plug in for Alpha Restoration Studio in Emeryville. They do
beautiful, meticulous work. They restored my family's antique
rocking chair which had 2 legs splintered by UPS shipping. They
rebuilt the legs, which were turned and tapered, and you cannot
tell which ones were damaged. The restoration is flawless. The
proprietors, Katie and Guy, are kind-hearted, knowledgeable,
really lovely people. They've done work for museums - very
top-notch. Tel. (510) 658-8579
Hoping you can help with a recommendation for an excellent furniture
repair/antiques restoration person. I have a large piece that needs to be
repaired in my home (Oakland).
The best place (IMHO) for antique restoration of something made of wood is
Mr. Gatti in San Francisco's Mission District (I think it's on 14th St).
Look for his business in the phone book. He's pricey, but you'll know the
job is done right. I think that if the piece is REALLY, REALLY old he'll
give you names of others who do that kind of stuff. He's 100% professional
and you can trust his judgement.
Antique furniture repair/refinishing/restoration
Can anyone recommend a skilled craftsperson to restore some
nineteenth-century furniture that needs minor repairs (e.g.,
veneer) and restoration (e.g., sun damage)? Oakland or
Berkeley location preferred, but will travel for quality
I'd like to recommend Michael Engle of Revue Furnishings.
For me he refinished a dining room table, 6 dining room
chairs including reupholstering the seats plus refinishing
the top of a 40's style buffet cabinet. He brought the old
furniture back to life. When my neighbor saw the table, she
asked him to refinish one of her chairs. Here's his contact
information: (415)378-3481, email@example.com
I have a solid cherry table that is about 10 years old and the
polyurethane finish is wearing off and there are bare patches of
wood. The rest of the table is fine it is just the top that needs
help. I know it needs to be refinished and was wondering if this is a
manageable thing to do myself? I am not particularly handy but I am
detailed oriented when doing a project like this. I can't find a
step-by-step guide on the internet on how to do this. Do I need to
strip it with chemicals or can I sand it? Would I hand sand it or
rent a sander? I have many questions like this. This is our main
family table that is used for all meals, homework, etc.
Your refinishing job sounds do-able for a novice. I have had
good results following recommendations in the Sunset book on
furniture finishing and refinishing (if they're still in print).
My first refinishing job was a dresser and I ended up borrowing
hand sander. Berkeley has a tool lending library at its
Russell/MLK (I believe) branch.
As for strippers--you probably would need to use one. I've never
tried the citrus based type but if I were doing any stripping,
I'd try to get the opinion of someone who's used one.
I've refinished several items and you can do a couple of
different things, but I've found the easiest is to use a
stripping solution (Jasco is what I've always used) and then
sanding. Jasco is really toxic so you'll need special gloves, a
mask and wear full length clothes. for sanding, you can rent
power sanders at your local tool lending library for free! The
one in Berkeley is near MLK & Ashby, and the Oakland library is
at the corner of Telegraph and Claremont Ave (you need to use the
library in the city where you're a resident). This is a pretty
easy job if you're just doing the top and edges of the table and
not the legs. Then get a good polyurethane to paint on (I've
used the Zar brand).
Make sure you lightly hand-sand in between coats of polyurethane
with a very light grade sandpaper (200-250 grade) and then vacuum
off the dust before applying the next layer. That will make them
adhere better and give you a much smoother finish. For a table
top I'd do 3 coats. Also do all this work outside as the fumes
and dust aren't great to have in your house.
Here are some tips for stripping:
I am looking for an experienced furniture refinisher to restore a
50 year old dining table and chairs to new life. Any
recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
I have used Regency Restoration,first the father, Don Wagg, and
now his son, Bruce, for my antique/vintage furniture for years.
Bruce recently refinished my 1920s Duncan Phyfe-style dining room
set to perfection. It gleams, looking old and well-cared-for, not
''plastic new.'' The work is always excellent, and the price is
reasonable. 510-534-0603 or 510-522-2020.
We would like to refinish our table instead of buying a new one. We need a
recommendation for someone that does good work and is reasonably priced.
Also looking for an upholsterer. Thanks
One of my clients recommended the following company for
furniture refinishing and say they do a wonderful job. Alpha
Furniture Restoration in Emeryville. 658.8579. Good Luck!
My husband and I just had a large chest of drawers and a small
living room bookcase refinished by Antonio of Ferreria
Refinishing. They came out to our house, gave an estimate, did
a fabulous job, and were very reasonable. Very good people to
work with and we highly recommend them.
Does anyone know where I can get bent bamboo furniture
repaired. I have a chair that has fallen through, and a couch
that needs to have the under supports redone.
Take your items to The Caning Shop, 926 Gilman, Berkeley,
800.544.3373, www.caningshop.com. They are the best resource in
I have two 18th century windsor chairs that need to be fixed. Does anyone have any
recommendations for an antique restorer they liked?
Thanks for your help
Almost Home Antique in Alameda, the owners name is Konstantin.
He is great. Just be patient with him, English is his second
language, but he is great with wood and restoring old pieces of
furniture. His phone # is 523 8522.
We have a couple pieces of furniture that need stripping. They are for the nursery we
are getting ready for our baby. We have tried a few natural products without much
luck. My husband wants to take them somewhere to have them stripped. My concern
is whether or not these harsh chemical strippers will stay in the wood, leaving us exposed to them when we
bring the furniture back into our home. I can find all sorts of info on why the chemicals are bad, but nothing
about residue they might leave on
wood. Does any one know anything about this??
We had a lot of window and door trim stripped in our Alameda
victorian to get rid of the lead paint. When the pieces came
back they were bare wood and looked like they had never been
painted. (We used JD Harpe, aka The Caning Place, Alameda)
If you're planning to varnish, you shouldn't dip the furniture
because it affects the original color of the wood. If you're
planning to repaint, then a couple of coats of primer and latex
will probably seal in any residual chemical agents.
Also, it's hard for me to imagine that the acid-based dipping
agents could possibly be more toxic than the fumes which out-gas
from fresh paint. Be sure and air the furniture (and any freshly
painted rooms) thoroughly before baby arrives. Now THAT'S toxic!
I have 4 danish modern chairs that need paint stripped and have the wood restored. I
also have a foot rest that needs to be repaired. Any suggestions in teh East Bay?
for amy looking for a furniture refinisher: i recommend michael of Revue
Refinishing Studio, (510) 658-8118, 675 37th St, Oakland, CA 94609. he
recently redid two italian modern chairs for me. they look beautiful.
he's very nice and his work is great. a bit pricey, but still less than
new chairs. if you can check out his shop, it's full of lots of neat
I am looking for someone who can repair a dining room
chair form the 1920's. It was my grandmother's set, one of
the chair backs has been broken, but I have all the
pieces. It is a beautiful piece with inlaid wood and a fan
insert in the back. If you know someone you would trust
a treasured family heirloom to, please let me know. I am
also interested in finding someone who can re-upholster
these chairs as well.
Please send your recommendations to me. Thank you.
Last summer I used Clever Fellows Woodworking in
Emeryville (923-0591, 4076 Halleck St) to repair a 100
year old child's rocking chair which a babysitter's
boyfriend sat in (30 years ago!) and broke off an arm.
Clever Fellows was able to repair the chair so that you
can't tell that it had been broken. It wasn't cheap but
it is great to have my great aunt's rocking chair restored
so my daughter can use it.
I have an old high chair circa 1930's that I would like to get
refinished. Does anyone have a recommendation for someone
that will take on a small project such as that?
I had great luck with J & L Refinishing Corp, 620 Alabama,
For wood furniture restoration, I can recommend Alpha
Furniture Restoration in Emeryville (510 658 8579). They
are probably not the cheapest out there, but they are real
crafts people and do beautiful work. We have entrusted
some treasured pieces to them and been very happy with the
I very highly recommend Jennifer Torres for wood furniture
or trim refinishing and repair. I hired her to repair and
refinish my dining room set (antique, from Vietnam) and
she did a fantastic job. She was so good, and so
reasonable, that I asked her to refinish the wood trim in
the living room of the bungalow we just bought --
something I thought would be prohibitively expensive. She
has TRANSFORMED our living room: the redwood trim is now
vibrant, warm, gorgeous. Everyone who has walked in the
front door has commented on how nice it looks. Jennifer
is incredibly reliable, responsible, and nice. She is a
perfectionist and, on each job, has done MORE than I've
asked, for no extra charge. In addition, I've found her
prices to be MUCH lower than I expected, esp. given the
amazing job she does. We have a lot of people working on
our home, and Jennifer is by far the most reliable -- and
we're getting the most bang for the buck. I have an
infant and a toddler and Jennifer has been very
conscientious about working with potentially dangerous
materials (including stripping lead-based varnish). I
would be happy to show off our new living room and/or
dining chairs and table to anyone who is considering
Jennifer's cell # is 415-412-5322. She mostly works on
the weekends since she has a ''day job,'' but she has worked
during the week for me to accommodate my schedule.
I can't say enough good things about Jennifer (who is not
a relative, I swear!) and will gladly answer any
We have a painted table that we want to refinish. Does
anyone know someone good, and more importantly, reasonably
Thank you very much for the recommendation of Jennifer
Torres for furniture refinishing. Jennifer just
Finished 4 pieces for us and she transformed them from ordinary
furniture into works of art. She had excellent
suggestions for which stains and accessories to use. We found her to be extremely talented and professional
And would highly recommend her. She can be reached at
We have some old furniture that is in need of some
refininshing. It is in good shape and doesn't need
repairs, just refinishing. Does anyone have any good
recommendations? We are in the Oakland hills.
I used a husband and wife-owned company a few years ago
called The Stripping Workshop (really, they just do
furniture). I believe they are somewhere on the other side
of the tunnel, like Walnut Creek, but I can't recall. They
picked up a large bookcase at my house in Oakland and
delivered it when finished, and did a beautiful job. I
also can't recall the price, though I know it wasn't real
cheap. I have nothing to compare it to, however, since it
is the only time I've ever had this service done.
Stop us before we buy new furniture!! We have some
formerly beautiful furniture that has ''lost the old
showroom shine'' and we're looking for someone to refinish
the pieces so we don't have to replace them with cookie
cutter new stuff. The archives have repair information, but
our pieces are in good shape. They just need to be
stripped and refinished. Thanks for any leads.
My husband designs and builds custom furniture and
recommends Alpha Refinishing in Oakland. He has
the number at his shop and says he can bring it home
if you want their number and can't find it.
I can recommend Jennifer Ashley's, owned by Curt Bowles.
Curt did two pieces for me several years ago and I would
not hesitate to call him again. One piece was part of a
set and he did a nice job of matching the colors and
It appears he has moved his shop from Richmond: the listing
in the phone book is 925-254-5119.
I recommend M. Ferreira in Oakland for furniture
refinishing (536-4973). They did beautiful work on my
dining table and buffet (old family pieces). They come to
your house to give you an estimate. They will also take
the piece to their shop to do the work, and return it.
I am looking for recommendations for people who refinish
wood tables professionally. Thanks very much.
I have used M. Ferreira in Oakland (536-4973) to refinish
my dining room table and sideboard. These are antique
pieces and they did a marvelous job at a reasonable price.
My mother's antique chair needs repair of the wood frame (top edge broke but
we have all the pieces). Any recommendations for a woodworker or other
wonderful (and not outrageously expensive) repair person.
I highly recommend Regency Restoration in east Oakland. I've used Regency
for restoration of a number of antique pieces, with great results. It's
basically a one-man shop, and he takes great care with each piece. I had a
limited budget and he was able to help guide me to decide what to do with the
money I could spend. Tel no is 534-0603.
Grandma's table arrived from Oklahoma. It looks like hell! Most of it seems
salvageable, except for the leaves, which are warped and water-damaged. Now
we are looking for someone to custom-make one big, new leaf for the table
out of oak to match the older table. It needs to match up in the three- or
four-inch "skirt" along the side, too. Does anyone know a reasonably priced
craftsman for the job? Thanks! Lynn
I recommend you speak to John Mercer, 845-8823, and Bob Barret, 549-1156.
They are both respected woodworkers but neither has made anything for me so I
can't make a direct recommendation. I've seen Bob Barret's work and it is
beautiful. I spoke to John Mercer for his recommendation on some tricky repair
work and was impressed. It's difficult to say what "reasonable" is, so get
estimates. Someone who is very skilled and has a lot of specialized equipment
can work faster than someone who is less experienced and doesn't have equipment
that can speed a job up. Another issue that might come up is matching the
grain of the new wood to the old. Our own cabinetmaker (who is no longer in
business) told us about this. I think he said old oak has a tighter grain than
new oak. Don't be surprised if the people you speak to bring this up.
There's a very nice couple in Berkeley/Emeryville area (on Adelaine) who run a
furniture refinishing business called Top Coat. I used their services to
strip several pieces of furniture which I then refinished myself. The owners
were very congenial and gave me lots of free advice about my project. Their
prices were competitive. My neighbor sells restored antiques and often uses
their services for refinishing.
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