Antique Restoration

Our Philosophy

Each piece is unique, but basically, there are three types of work: Conservation, Restoration, and Refinishing. What we do to a piece depends on the piece itself- the age, value and customer wants.


If a piece is historically significant, it should remain in its present condition so it can be studied. When restoring a truly historic piece, it is necessary to stop the deterioration of the piece, but not take it back to "like new" condition. In these cases the scratches, initials, and "aging" of the piece are just as valuable as the piece itself. For example, if Benjamin Franklin had carved his initials on a chair as a child, those initials would be far more valuable than the chair itself.

Many people who come to Mill Creek Woodworking bring an heirloom- perhaps an early 20th century piece with no real "historical" significance, however, to them it is a priceless piece of family history. In such a case, we make the piece usable while still preserving the family history behind the piece.


If an antique is of no real historical significance, then the piece is restored. This means a piece is returned to usable condition but not made to look brand new. When a restoration is finished the piece should still look old, but appear as though it has been well taken care of.


When a piece is refinished it is stripped, repaired, and made to look new. Refinishing should only be done with pieces that have no historical or family significance- for example, a Victorian factory-made pressed-back chair.

In all of these cases, the key is to restore the piece while preserving its key value: history, family history, time period, etc.

Step-By-Step Restorations

Restoration of a German Clock

Before Restoration

Broken Pieces

More Broken Pieces

After Dismantling

Damaged Corner

After Restoration

After Restoration

Plaster Frame Restoration

Before Restoration

Damaged Corner

After Restoration

After Restoration

Restoration of a Victorian Chair


Contact Tom today for a FREE estimate – (608) 604-9707
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