Range of services - From repairs in wood & metal to teaching & research


David Williams ❖ Restoration

207 667 4591



Overview of the range of work. The vast majority of my work is the restoration or repair of furniture and wooden objects but the range of work that I do is much broader. Over the years I have done a good bit of work with metal, especially the fabrication of parts for iron and brass hardware, and the cleaning and re-patination of deteriorated metal surfaces. I have made ivory escutcheons, reformed distorted brass furniture mounts, cast and gilded replacement parts for Chippendale mirror frames,

re-covered an early French box in shagreen leather, re-patinated a sixteenth century German wrought iron door knocker, worked with tortoiseshell, horn, papier mache... and on and on. But, I only want to work at what I can do well, so if I am presented with a library full of deteriorating leather bindings, or a nineteenth century ceramic sugar bowl broken into sixteen pieces, I will make a referral to an expert in that field.

Finishes. Although the restoration of deteriorated historic finishes is a basic part of my work, I do not strip and refinish furniture. I make-up paint and historically appropriate resin finishes (varnishes and shellac based) in my shop. In the Gallery section (click on the link above) you will see a yellow box carrier with a bentwood handle; the finish on this box was made up of yellow ochre earth that I gathered in southern France, in Provence. This mineral was mixed with a bit of linseed oil and ground to a fine paste and then incorporated into some thin varnish, making a lovely and durable finish.

Architectural work. I always welcome inquiries from architects, builders and home owners who want to discuss the fabrication of an architectural detail or a project of high quality. I recently restored an early eighteenth century barrel back architectural corner cupboard that was re-fitted for installation in a new home on Mount Desert. In order to hang a 16th century Venetian door knocker door I fabricated hardware that looks correct to the period and will deter any but the most determined thief. If you need something unusual for a building, I may be able to help.

Consultation and teaching. I am all in favor of collectors who wish to carry out their own repairs, and I gladly offer any level of assistance needed to make that possible.

Research. I have been an avid student and collector of furniture and the decorative arts for more than fifty years. I do a great deal of research geared toward identifying furniture, objects and their origins. I know a network of knowledgeable museum people and specialized dealers who I can call upon for further assistance. A great deal of the fun of collecting is finding out about the objects that you own - I would like to help you.

Buying and selling. I have had a good bit of experience buying and selling, and am happy to help clients who wish to buy new things or sell things from their collection find the right auction house or dealer. There are some truly fantastic dealers out there, both here in Maine and across the country.

New work. I am always interested in discussing the construction of furniture or interesting objects. Several examples of new work can be seen in the Gallery (link at top of page).

Referrals. I know a broad range of artisans, working in both contemporary and historic contexts:

artistic blacksmiths, conservators of textiles and photographs, restorers of ceramics and leather, etc.

I am also acquainted with a number of restorers of furniture and wooden objects whose specialties may make them better suited than me for a particular restoration - in that case, I will happily send you on to them.

Making molding for an early 18th century cupboard.

Grinding dry mineral pigments and oil into paint.

Note: The legs and stretchers of the Philadelphia fancy chair were disassembled and re-glued to remove a wobble.  The Scandinavian mirror in the center required inpainting on the eglomise panel. When the New England clock on the right crashed to the floor, the door and all below it were fractured; fortunately, the glass panel with the eglomise eagle and scroll did not break, and I was able to put the case back in order with the fabrication of a few new parts and a bit of gilding.