Antique restoration using  traditional  techniques and materials.

Our workshop offers an excellent antique restoration and conservation service. At InStudio we prefer to use traditional methods and techniques such as hide glue and proper French polish. On request a conservation report can be provided at completion of the project. Restoration projects can include: antique furniture, modernist furniture, frames and mirrors, statues, musical instruments, boxes, clocks, Maori carvings, and more. Johan van Westen has more than 30 years of experience in the restoration of furniture and interiors and is formally trained in the Netherlands.

We guarantee our workmanship and discuss the condition and the treatment of the object before we start.

Interior Restoration

Next to furniture and objects, we have restored the altar of a historic church in Parnell Auckland, St John the Baptist. This work was carried out in tandem with conservation architect Salmond and Reed Auckland. More recently the old Whitecliff Art School in Crafton has been completely restored by Canam Interiors. This is now the new Scientology Church. We were asked to restore  the rimu and oak doors, paneling and joinery for this project.

Other clients include: architects, auction houses, collectors, insurance companies and institutes.


Below a few samples of our work, no job is the same:


Piano Restoration: This striking 19th century Pleyel grand piano needed some in-painting on the lid, some over painting needed to be removed and quite a few repairs needed to be done on the carved details around the main body of the instrument. There was some veneer missing too. All together a fair bit of work.

Musical Instrument Restoration: Upright walnut piano, veneer repairs done, gilded details restored and french-polished.

Musical Instrument Restoration: Upright walnut piano, veneer repairs done, gilded details restored and french-polished.

A good old English chest on chest. Walnut veneer with cross banding and beading around the drawers. Lots of veneer repairs, missing bits and cracks and the sides. Here I had to inject the warm hide glue in the lifted veneer "bubble" and press it with a heated block. This ensures the glue dries slowly in keeps the veneer in place and flat. 

Antique Furniture Restoration: This is an Antique Boulle table, inlaid with thin brass and tortoise shell. Many pieces were missing. It was a real challenge to re-create the missing parts and cut the new pieces to size (on a treadmill saw using a jewellers saw blade). Once the pieces are cut and fitted they are glued in place using clamps.

Another Boulle restoration. A Boulle bonheur de jour desk, France 1860. Lots of brass and tortoise missing on the doors , top and drawer. Back on the treadmill saw.  

An antique harp, restored details, re-gilded and re-polished

An antique harp, restored details, re-gilded and re-polished

Grandfather clock restoration . We built a new door, made the brass hinges and carried out some veneer repairs. Followed by some french polishing and a wax polish. 

An 18 century bracket clock. Door was damaged and movement dit not fit very well. The door at the front could not close properly , the movement was not in the right place. There were also some marks and scratches. 

Gold-leaf and Frame restoration: Water gilding a stunning frame.

Interior Restoration: Altar restoration, St John the Baptist Church, Parnell. Partly repainted and regilded in a rich 23kt gold.

Antique Restoration: Restoring a nice early English oak chest. Panels were loose and broken.The chest was in poor condition. Each side needed to be rebuilt. The outcome is very satisfying.

Veneer repairs, french polishing and gilding on a 19th century, Louis XV style french commode.

Above: restoration of a Maori bird snare, a picture frame with a large part missing, an old 1950's glass globe, and gilt detailing on a piano lid.

Painted Furniture Restoration: Spanish style painted and gilded furniture and objects being restored.