Antique Furniture Restoration Techniques in East Sussex



This course is designed as a practical introduction to working on and restoring antique furniture and will cover many of the main areas and techniques required for repair and refinishing.

Ideally students will have some woodworking experience or have attended our ‘Sharpening and Tuning’ course, so that structural repairs and splices etc. can be attempted with confidence.

This course is, however, equally relevant for the complete beginner who can use the course to enter the world of furniture restoration and gain the confidence of working on their own furniture in a controlled and supportive environment.

Specific techniques will be covered in a logical progression, with plenty of time set aside each day for project work, when students may work on the pieces of furniture that they have brought with them, or concentrate on increasing their skills in particular elements of the course which most interest them.

Students are invited to bring up to four pieces of furniture to work on, and for advice and guidance on an appropriate approach for their repair. Due to the relatively short duration of the course, projects may need to be completed at home.

What will you learn:

Useful tools and jigs

Dismantling furniture – releasing and cleaning joints

Re-making / repairing joints

Glues – types, properties, preparation, uses and application

Assembly techniques – cramps and cramping techniques

Veneers – re-laying, removing, making and patching

Cleaning old surfaces – chemical and mechanical- the controlled approach

Reducing stains and water marks

Cleaning ormolu and brass fittings

Polishes – making shellac and wax

Finishing – basic techniques of applying shellac and wax polish, cosmetic colouring systems

Metal work – ageing and colouring

Refunds are not available on this booking. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

Students are invited to bring 3-4 small items to work on.

The workshops are open from 8am until 7pm. Teaching hours are from 8.30am - 6pm giving the maximum value for money.

All courses are taught by John Lloyd

All tools and materials are provided. Students may wish to bring protective clothing and should wear sensible footwear.

Tea and coffee are provided. Students are recommended to bring a packed lunch, or if they prefer there is a sandwich shop, village shop and pub a short drive away.

We are always happy to help if you require assistance finding local accommodation


John Lloyd at John Lloyd Fine Furniture

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Bankside Farm
Ditchling Common
Burgess Hill
East Sussex
RH15 0SJ

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Parking provided
  • Suitable for beginners


5 days (9:00am to 6:00pm)

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Derek JOrdan - - #8915

The workshop is well laid out with plenty of room around each bench and in the central area. John is always available to ask advice from and has a range of tools that can be used whilst you are on the course, which allows you to gain experience in using a new tool if you have not used that type of tool before.

Lynda Hynard - - #8914

I liked the structure of the course taking you through the steps when restoring with the practical hands-on practical work. Learning from someone as experienced as John was great.

Graham Barker - - #4901

Plenty of time was given to individual participants. The course was well structured and easy to follow. The course met all my needs.

Nick White - - #4900

Having zero woodworking skills I amazed myself with what I achieved after only five days - all credit to John for his excellent teaching. The small class gives everyone lots of one to one time with John. I arrived with a piece of firewood and went home with a beautifully restored 19th century chair. Everything was spot on!

Tracey-Jane Deffley - - #4899

I really liked the in depth knowledge the course gave me and the confidence through the practical work to carry out projects of my own. Additionally the relaxed attitude that carried throughout the week.

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