Spinning wheel restoration


One of our customers wanted to get her spinning wheel restored. The front leg had broken off and two of the wheel spindles were also broken. We set about adding a dowel to the leg and had to actually lengthen the spindles so they could be glued back into the wheel. See the before during and after photos of the restoration process.

Below is our customers review;

Lois Vostral 10/10

Mark was direct, realistic and he accomplished what he said he would do. His estimate was accurate. His workplace was clean and organized. His workmanship was exemplarily. Thank you, Mark!!

Posted in Antique furniture, Before & After Photos, Furniture Damage Solutions, Furniture Repair Albuquerque | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

Furniture TLC Article- We were featured in the Albuquerque Journal!

Furniture Medic by Bespoke Restoration was featured in the Albuquerque Journal on Sunday December 13th.

Click here to see the full link: http://www.abqjournal.com/690518/biz/furniture.html

Furniture TLC: Fine wood pieces needs a little extra care in New Mexico’s sunny, arid climate

By Rosalie Rayburn / Journal Staff Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Just like your own skin, New Mexico’s fierce bright sun and arid high desert climate will leave your fine wood furniture craving moisture.

The state’s dry air and extreme temperature swings can cause tables, chairs and chests to shrink, warp and crack, especially pieces manufactured in tropical Asian locations or those used to more humid parts of the U.S.

Luckily, furniture experts can recommend ways to help ward off those unsightly blemishes. And the furniture world has its own equivalents to those anti-wrinkle creams that are designed to revive the youthful bloom of your sun-damaged skin.

Furniture restorer Mark Ryan of Furniture Medic by Bespoke Restoration sees a lot of problems like wood surfaces that look like alligator skin, poorly glued joints and joints that become loose, and splits and cracks in wood that has been exposed to the dry climate.

He also sees a lot of pieces that have been marred by white rings or dark stain marks in the finish.

Recommendations from furniture experts:

• Use a humidifier, especially in winter.
• Dust regularly and keep out of direct sunlight.
• Avoid placing furniture near a direct heat source.
• Use covers, coasters and pads to protect wood finish from heat or wet surfaces.
Prevention is the best approach, he said.

“Once wood splits you can’t put it back together. You have to fill the spot and it can always split further,” said Ryan.

That means keeping that nice dining table regularly dusted, protected from water spills and out of direct sunlight, which will fade the color, he said.

Ryan recommends investing in a humidifier. Winter time can be the hardest on furniture because homeowners turn on heating systems that rob humidity from the already arid air.

While summer brings high temperatures, the swamp cooler systems traditionally used to cool New Mexico homes can help put moisture in the indoor environment, he said.

The ideal humidity for any piece of furniture, according to the website of Los Angeles-based antique furniture dealer Lee Stanton, is between 50 percent and 55 percent.

A few other recommendations from Ryan and other experts: Avoid placing furniture near a direct heat source and use glass covers, cork or felt-bottomed coasters, trivets or natural-fiber tablecloths and pads to protect the wood finish from heat or wet surfaces.

Ryan is not a big fan of using furniture polish regularly, especially if the product contains silicone or petroleum distillates. He said they can damage the surface of the furniture over time. He prefers regular dusting with a soft, clean, lint-free microfiber cloth, chamois or cotton T-shirt.

If a piece has been neglected and there is a buildup of dust and grime, Albuquerque-based custom furniture maker Chris Sandoval of Artisans of the Desert recommends using a small amount of Murphy’s Oil Soap on a damp cloth to clean it.

Curt Westbrook, store manager at Woodworker’s Supply in Albuquerque, said Howard’s Orange Oil can also be used to remove dirt, grease and wax buildup.

Mark Ryan with Furniture Medic is a furniture restorer works on a Lyra Table base for a client that was broken in move in his shop on Dec. 03, 2015. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)
Mark Ryan with Furniture Medic is a furniture restorer works on a Lyra Table base for a client that was broken in move in his shop on Dec. 03, 2015. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)
“This will remove them without damaging the finish,” Westbrook said.

After cleaning, Sandoval recommends letting the surface dry for a day then rubbing lightly with a piece of super fine grade #0000 steel wool in the direction of the grain.

Howard’s Restor-A-Finish or Feed-N-Wax can be used to help restore the original color and luster to the finish.

Sandoval and Stanton favor using a paste wax polish once a year, twice if it’s a heavily used item. Sandoval said it’s important to follow the instructions provided. Choose a wax that is close to the color of the furniture item.

Prepare the surface by rubbing lightly with super fine grade #0000 steel wool and work in the direction of the grain.

Use a super-fine Scotch Brite pad to spread the paste evenly, working with the wood grain. Let wax set for not more than 20 minutes, then use a clean Scotch Brite pad to remove excess wax, Sandoval said.

Furniture restorer Mark Ryan does some precision repair work on the base of a client’s Lyra style table. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)
Furniture restorer Mark Ryan does some precision repair work on the base of a client’s Lyra style table. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)
Use a soft lint-free cloth to buff the surface lightly until it feels smooth.

Sandoval uses Liberon’s paste. Westbrook said other waxes such as J.E. Moser’s and Briwax are also suitable. Westbrook warned that most waxes contain solvents so it is important to work in a well-ventilated area and to wear gloves and a mask when applying the products.

Clapham’s Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish is solvent free and also safe to use on wooden kitchen ware, Westbrook said.

It’s important to remember that cloths used in these processes are at risk of spontaneous combustion. Sandoval said they should be allowed to dry completely then either discarded or washed.

Posted in Company News, Furniture Care Tips, Furniture Repair Albuquerque, Uncategorized | Comments closed

Top 5 Holiday Tips to protect your furniture!

  1. Candles and Oils: If strategically situating holiday-scented candles and oils around the house is part of your decorating to-do list, be sure that each candle or oil product is kept on a tray or in a holder. This not only protects your finished surfaces from pesky spills, but placing a barrier down first also prevents any dye discoloration or damage to the finish.
  2. Table Décor: Nothing says “Happy Holidays” quite like a delicious meal at a festively decorated table. Unless you’re planning to celebrate all year long, be sure to avoid using plastic or vinyl place-mats in your tablescape – the chemicals from the mats can leave an imprint or ghost image on the finish.
  3. Buffet Style: It’s a fairly common phenomenon around the holidays: people turning different pieces of furniture into makeshift buffets and tables. If you have plans for your ping-pong table this season, make a point to use trivets, thick oven mitts or even dish towels under hot casserole dishes to protect your finished surfaces from damaging white spots.
  4. Coasters: Drink coasters aren’t just for the ultra paranoid. If you’re hosting a holiday shindig this year, embrace your inner neat freak – sprinkle coasters in all shapes and sizes about your house to protect finished surfaces from those dreaded water rings.
  5. Aftermath: After all the conversations, laughs and feasts, you’ll want to do a deep cleaning of everything left in the wake. Be careful not to leave damp towels, wash cloths, even paper products soaked in cleaning spray on your finished wood surfaces to avoid permanent white spots and discoloration.

Furniture Medic by Bespoke Restoration would like to wish all its customers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to serving you again in 2016!

Posted in Company News, Furniture Damage Solutions, Furniture Repair Albuquerque, Seasonal information, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments closed

Dry Climate vs Fine Furniture

How to beat New Mexico’s DRY weather!

There can only be one winner! Dry conditions will always seek out to break down furniture’s finish and wooden structure. If wood dries out causing splits or cracks there is no going back! Dry Climate can destroy fine furniture by drying out the finish. If this occurs it can crack and flake off leaving the wood exposed. There is no real full proof way to stop it but you can slow it down by placing a humidifier in the room.

Our customer had a beautiful piece designed by Renzo Rutili and manufactured by Johnson Furniture from the 1950’s. He had just moved here from Pennsylvania and was devastated when the piece started to show signs of climate change. The credenza had been in his family for decades and had recently been appraised at $15-18K. It has a special hand painted finish that is very difficult to match. He understood our difficult task, but hated to see it deteriorate any further and would be happy with whatever we could do.

The precision repair consisted of us securing and loose paint then we filled and leveled any missing areas.We closely matched the paint which was a blue green with black brush marks using gouache paints and final added a topcoat finish to match the existing sheen to lock in and protect the repair.

Below is see our customers review and the before and after photos.


Steve Hartman

Mark was very upfront and honest. He gave an estimate that was spot on. My piece is very rare and was a very difficult match. Mark did a great job to restore and preserve it! Very pleased with his work and professionalism.

Posted in Antique furniture, Before & After Photos, Furniture Care Tips, Furniture Damage Solutions, Furniture Repair Albuquerque | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

What to do if the moving company drops your Antique Love Seat!

This beautifully hand carved upholstered loveseat was dropped by the moving company as they were transporting it off the trailer. The owner was deeply upset as it had been in his family for decades. Luckily the solution to repair it was easy. He contacted the insurance company who had us go out to collect the piece and repair it, all at zero cost to the owner. As the number one trusted repair vendor for insurance companies in America, Furniture Medic are the go to company!

Here are some before and after photos and our customer review.

10/10 Robert Fort Great Job.
Posted in Antique furniture, Before & After Photos, Furniture Damage Solutions, Furniture Repair Albuquerque | Comments closed

Transit to Albuquerque related Furniture damage!

One of our large National Accounts shipped out a large oval desk to their customer in Albuquerque. During transportation it was damaged, chipped and gouged around the edge. As it weighed over 500lbs once it was installed the customer did not want the hassle of shipping it back. They were happy for Furniture Medic by Bespoke Restoration to repair the visible damage on-site in their home. Using precision repair techniques we were able to disguise the damage almost completely from 3ft which is our premium standard service that we offer.

See the repaired damage and our customer’s review below:

10/10 David Comfort Excellent repair.


Posted in Before & After Photos, Furniture Damage Solutions, Furniture Repair Albuquerque | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Norwegian Antique Rocking Chair Restoration

Our customer entrusted us with the restoration of two wonderful items he had inherited. An old spinning wheel and an old rocking chair that were both showing their age. The craftsmanship and quality of the materials used in its construction the rocker was in a very good stable condition. Work was required aesthetically, the joints required tightening, but the seat area required most of the restoration work. Over a number of hours we cleaned, gel stained and top coated the wooden parts and our upholstery department did a fantastic job of recreating the leather strapping to support a loose cushion. The results are simply heartwarming. The rocking chair was returned to the family for the next generation and generation after them to enjoy.
Here is a brief history of the Rocking Chair provided by our customer:
• The rocker and the spinning wheel came over from Norway in the late 1860’s
• Both the rocker and the wheel were the only 2 items my mother had from her grandmother Kari’s estate when she died in about 1940
• My mother was born in a one room house on the SW Minnesota prairie in 1928 (Hanley Falls, Minn), delivered by her grandmother I believe and a mid-wife
• My mother passed away in Dec, 2012 at the age of 84, in ABQ and the items have been in storage until this spring, when I dropped them off with you this summer
• Growing up, I remember both items from as early as I can remember (about the age of 5 or 6?), and they were always “delicate, couldn’t sit on the rocker, play with the wheel”, etc. So I remember them from about 1960 or so. They moved with us from San Francisco to Seattle, to Idaho. After I graduated college and left the house in Idaho, they moved with my mom ultimately to NM
• Growing up I remember the rocking chair as only being a place where the cats could sit and sleep. It would rock, but couldn’t hold any weight (although I did try it a few times when she wasn’t looking)…..
• And now it works and looks great!

Here is the review our customer provided us:
10/10 Very resourceful in returning a 150 year old Norwegian rocking chair to usability, while still retaining appropriate character and patina. As a family heirloom, this was not a traditional repair.

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Wood Veneer Dresser Damage Fixed Via Precision Repair At Furniture Medic ABQ

Wood Veneer Dresser Damage Repair Furniture Medic in Albuquerque

The top left hand side corner of this dresser was damaged during a move. The owners were upset and felt that the piece was ruined beyond repair. It was suggested that they just try and glue the veneer section back on themselves.  It was at this point that the customer requested a professional to make the repair.

This was the smartest decision they could have made! So often Furniture Medic by Bespoke Restoration is asked to repair items where unskilled repair attempts have been made, and in many cases these attempts have prevented us from carrying out or achieving the best possible repair results.

After the section was carefully glued back a precision repair was made to the joint line precision in order to blend it flush with the surrounding veneer.

Here is the Tell FM Review from our happy customer:

10/10- “I liked that the service was on site and I didn’t have to take my dresser into a location to be repaired. I LOVE the end result!! If you don’t know where to look you can’t even tell it was damaged.”

Before and After photos:

Posted in Before & After Photos, Furniture Damage Solutions, Furniture Repair Albuquerque | Comments closed

Antiques: “to repair or not to repair?” That is the question.

Hepplewhite chair restoration. circa 1770-1786 .

We are often questioned over whether antiques should be restored or not. For me the answer comes down to 3 simple questions: 1. can the piece serve its originally intended function 2. If it can, then the next question to ask is… why does it need restoration? (For example, if a table has 4 legs and flat top and is sturdy, does it really need restoring? Maybe the finish has failed, and then yes it may. Or maybe the legs are loose, and then yes it may.) 3. Finally, is the cost to restore the piece worth it to the customer?

In regards to the Hepplewhite chair, it most certainly needed restoration, as it could no longer function as intended and still had great value to the owners. After many hours of careful reassembly all of the broken pieces that were re-glued we brought the chair back to a usable life.

Due to the extent of the damage the chair could not be returned to museum quality however, as you can see the chair has been returned to an excellent state for the customer and has pride of placement in the family room rather than the garage!

Here is the “Tell FM” customer review (Erica Vesely 10/10): “I brought in a chair that was in several pieces. I was unsure if there was any hope of saving it. It is all put back together and is absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much!”

See the before and after photos here:



Posted in Antique furniture, Before & After Photos, Furniture Repair Albuquerque | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

Furniture Medic to the rescue! Same day Furniture Repair in Albuquerque!

Damaged Furniture a contractors worst nightmare !!!

Recently we were called out in “an emergency”… Now we don’t usually get furniture emergencies, however in this case the client wanted the damage repaired A.S.A.P. The client was a local contractor finishing up a remodel of a house. Unfortunately one of his workers damaged the top of a cherry veneered dresser. High expectations were set with the home owner and we completed the repair on-site that very same day! Some could say we saved the day! 

See the before and after photos below.


Posted in Before & After Photos, Furniture Damage Solutions, Furniture Repair Albuquerque | Comments closed
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