3 Day Furniture Restoration Course

About the Course

This three-day course is aimed at providing the student with an appreciation and understanding of the ‘Art of Furniture Restoration’ and to introduce the basic skills to make an initial assessment, and then carry out the treatment required to restore specific antique pieces.

The Dates

All courses are currently suspended due to Covid-19 social distancing rules. We’ll get some new course dates planned as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Booking Your Course

A complete course will cost just £450 for the 3 days (+ VAT charged at the standard rate) including a cold buffet lunch and refreshments. Upon booking your course, a chair must be purchased from our gallery, for you to work on during the course. We accept Credit, Debit cards and Paypal as well as Cheques and BACS payments. Click here to book and reserve your place on the course or phone Sue, Chris or Lee-Ann on 01691 624023. If you’re looking to buy a course as a gift for someone, we can provide open-dated vouchers so the recipient can choose when to attend. Please see our course terms and conditions here


Depending on the seat type ie. Drop-in seat, stuff-over, solid wooden seat or possibly rush seating, the objective is for the student to take away an antique chair which is completed or near completion.

There has never been a better time to buy antique furniture and so we can take advantage of this by providing students with a selection of chairs from which to choose. Simply select a chair to purchase from our stock sourced personally by Tony, one that takes your fancy, then add this to your booking form and it will be yours. Note: the chairs are selected by the tutor as being good examples of their type and as a suitable ‘learning vehicle’ for this course; the chairs will generally not require significant woodwork or cabinet skills.

Day 1

• Introduction: Definition of Furniture Restoration, parameters and its relationship with Conservation.
• Aims and objectives of restoration and how these apply to your chair.
• The importance of Patina. Basic wood identification.
• Assessment of your chair in order to produce a restoration plan to include your specific objectives.
• Brief historical evaluation and group discussion of the chairs, Q&A and informal lecture.
• Demonstrations and practical activities to explore techniques discussed and planned for the project. This will include stripping old upholstery, joint separation and re-gluing, removal of surface dirt/polish as appropriate, basic repairs and preparing the chair for re-finishing.
• Begin the restoration of your chair through the application of skills and techniques learnt, swapping between the chair frame and the upholstery. If gluing is required, this will be allowed to dry over-night.

Day 2

• Group discussion, Q&A and appraisal of the skills learnt.
• Finish off any frame repairs.
• Begin to apply stain and finishing materials as necessary.
• Continue with the upholstery as appropriate.
• Final coats of polish will be applied before the close of the day so that they can dry fully over-night. This does not rule out additional light polishing on the final day.

Day 3

• Final treatments to the chair frame regarding colouring and polishing
• Continue with the upholstery
• Evaluate stages reached and plan for completion.
• Group discussion, Q&A and conclusions

It is the intention for the course to be exciting, interactive, ‘hands on’ and above all fun. Classes are small with 4 – 6 students and tutor to ensure everyone gets time with the tutors but work and learn at their own speed. The classes take place in our workshop in Ellesmere, Shropshire from around 9am until 4pm including a cold buffet lunch and refreshments throughout the day. If you would like to come to us for a course we can recommend some of our local accommodation. Please note that there must be at least 4 students booked in order for the course to run.

Your Tutor

Tony Dickin

Tony Dickin has many years’ experience in the Furniture Industry:

Experienced in both Modern and Traditional Upholstery, he specialises in Period Upholstery and Furniture Restoration/Conservation working with both private and commercial clients. After completing a full Furniture Industry City and Guilds Apprenticeship, Tony went into teaching in both FE and HE, becoming Head of Upholstery, Course Leader BA(Hons) Applied Furniture Studies and course leader in Antique studies.