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All that You Wanted to Know About Restoration!

Antique restoration,hair restoration,refinishing and restoration

What exactly is meant by “restoration”? It is a process that attempts to bring back a deteriorated object to its original state by concealing the damages. Traditional methods are still followed, though newer and better processes are rapidly coming up too.

From earlier times, restoration of antiques has been attempted with an airbrush as well as with the use of different paints and lacquers. The airbrush is part of overspray restoration, and is used to conceal small break lines, hairline cracks and stains. But this sort of filling in is not expected to last more than ten years, after which discoloration can set in.

True, when expert professionals handle the job, then even from a normal distance, the end-results look very convincing. But it is when the yellowing begins that you begin to wonder what really lies below the surface. The hidden cracks, missing areas that have been replaced by plaster or resin, etc., all reveal themselves. Thinly-applied paints can result in abrasions while handling the piece. And that is when you get apprehensive about the future condition of your precious antique.

Of course, ultra-violet light can be utilized to check the damages caused by the overspray. And the good news is that this deterioration is reversible. You can get everything cleansed, conduct a re-repair, and then sell it to a collector if you wish to. One way not to become a victim of deception would be to ask the conservator to provide a detailed written explanation about the restoration process. Then, you will always have proof of what occurred.

Other mistakes committed by restorers include—poor bonding of joints; a groove cut in the shape of a “V” along break lines to accept fills; aggressive rubbing with abrasive papers; and removal of glaze or gilt or enamel because of the use of flint sandpaper, silicon carbide and aluminum oxide. Thus, restoration is done cleverly, but not ethically, and ultimately your antique is the loser!

Fortunately, modern times have seen advances in the arena of antique restoration. So the scenario is improving! Stains can either be totally discarded or lightened with the aid of mild acids and alkalis, detergents, steam wands, solvents and poultices. Lasers have promised their help too in the future. Since so much is taken care at the cleansing stage itself, further costly repairs can be dispensed with; affordable ones can be taken up.

Epoxy resins are replacing adhesives that caused harm with their ability to yellow soon and their viscous nature. These resins even match color fills. Thus, today’s restorer can experiment with depth, color and translucence. Original surfaces will not be marred by badly filled voids or rivet holes or chips or glaze loss. Modern materials also allow for imitation of jade, parian and cloisonné. Thus, the best is yet to come in the field of antique restoration!


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