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The Furniture Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Identify, Restore & Care for Furniture Hardcover – November 4, 2014
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Amazon, Best Books of the Month for November 2014
“A guide for the pros, DIYers and furniture aficionados eager for tips from the expert. Pourny’s practical advice on all things antique is coupled with historical notes.”
“A comprehensive but accessible guide to restoration that lays out everything you need to know about making over wooden furniture.”
—Martha Stewart Living
“Authority wafts from [Pourny’s] handsome how-to book like the sweet smell of lemon oil.”
—New York Times
“A practical, visual guide for anyone who wants to restore a cherished heirloom or simply correct a water stain.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Pourny’s book will serve brave DIYers as well as design aficionados wishing to hone their connoisseurship.”
“It’s really everything you wanted to know about furniture but were afraid to ask.”
“Whether you want to refresh your mother’s outdated bureau, refinish a set of vintage Danish Modern chairs, or restore antique marquetry to its former glory,
this volume’s got you covered and then some.”
“Encyclopedic in coverage . . . deftly illustrated and defined . . . a fantastic go-to source for furniture care.”
—Library Journal, starred review
“A thorough and practical guide for the furniture expert as well as for the novice restorer. . . . This guide will find a wide audience among those who simply want to learn about and appreciate good furniture, as well as those who are more hands-on.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“This is a very useful and important book for anyone who owns furniture—antique, modern, or new—or anyone who plans to fix or restore it.”
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Each technique--stain/oil or shellac finish, French wax polish, two degrees of ebonizing (true ebony and not-quite), gilding, repairs, hardware aging, etc.--is illustrated with step by step photos of what he does and clear, concise instructions. He gives a list of tools and materials up front, so you'll have what you need start to finish. And he names names in terms of products to use, so you'll get the one he himself relies on. And a huge advantage over other furniture makeover guides, he has exquisite taste. He understands the history of a style and works in ways to enhance it, not obliterate it, as did the mistake-book on furniture makeovers I also got. (Oh what awful, ugly things were done.)
Pourny suggests you have a DIY refinishing 'kit' on hand that fits your available space: what fits in a box (the bare necessities), a shelf, or a whole wall (soup to nuts). Having the right tools and materials are critical, but what he specifies is not exotic. His directions are thorough and exacting, but not at all intimidating. Best of all, the results he achieves are spectacular, and to some degree achievable, even by me.
He quickly establishes his expertise in the field so as the reader you know to trust what he's teaching. Credibility & masters in their craft are becoming hard to find in a world filled with blogs & videos that will teach you how to do anything yourself. Being a master craftsman requires mentorship and years of experience, which Christophe has! The finishes he completes as examples are absolutely stunning!
It starts out explaining to the reader how to differentiate periods of furniture, styles, places to shop, and how to become known in the industry as someone with a sharp eye. I particularly love the part that shows you how to figure out what the existing finish is (no matter the age) and how to fo about repairing or re-doing it.
He does a wonderful job of explaining why certain pieces are worth more than others; depending on where they were purchased, the craftsman that have worked on them, and the time period in which they come from. This is a great resource for those of us who struggle to explain to people why something of value or antiquity is worth the price!
I've not been able to put this down...it will live in my shop & surely be reached for over & over until worn and haggard.
From someone whos purchased HUNDREDS of books in this area I can say this is a MUST OWN for anyone in the field or looking to refinish a piece of fine furniture while keeping with the period & original techniques. I’ve not found a better source to date!
I cannot thank Christophe for willingly sharing his knowledge with us all and putting it into such a wonderful and easy to read format. If you want to refinish your own pieces of furniture and care for them properly do yourself a favor & GET THE BIBLE!
Just reading the materials in this book I've found that I know more about traditional restoration than the instructor of a recent course I took. The instructors solution for all problems was "just strip it" and when asked how to handle certain types of finishes his response was "it depends."
This is my go to book and I keep it near me when performing furniture restorations. Its just the right level of detail. I love making my own wax, shellac mix and performing my own french polish. All techniques well documented with photos in this book.
If you want information on more modern restoration techniques or a little more detail on the science behind certain processes, buy "Understanding Wood Finishing" in addition to this.