Veneering & Inlay

Restoration of veneers, Inlay & Marquetry

Adam Brightman – 9/5/19

Mark was so helpful. Our mid-century sideboard, made from teak had so many areas of chipped and damaged veneer, especially around the plinth and a really bad one on the top. I didn't need to worry. He made it look as good as new and you can barely see where the patches were. I'd really recommend their services.

Chipped, lifting or missing veneer? We can help.

Veneering forms an essential part of much of the restoration work that we carry out. Veneer is is made from an almost limitless variety of timbers and is commonly produced by peeling logs of the finest quality.

Veneer was used in the manufacturing process of a lot of antique furniture, either as an embellishment or decoration and sometimes to make furniture appear to have been made from a more expensive timber.

As veneer is quite thin, typically not much more than a millimetre or two, and is glued to the substrate of the furniture in question, it is quite easily damaged. Glues can dry out and perish and make the veneer brittle and susceptible to lifting, bubbling and splitting.

We have a large selection of veneers available to us, including much salvaged from old pieces of furniture and which means that we are usually able to match missing or damaged areas on items of furniture.

Often loose veneer can be restored and relayed, thus retaining the original as far as possible.

Inlays & Marquetry

Inlay and marquetrygoes hand-in-hand with veneer. If your furniture has a decorative banding of a contrasting colour, or thin lines of differing colours or patterns, or even brass decoration - this is all known as inlay and the process is most accurately termed marquetry.

We can relay, match or replace any inlay that's missing or damaged. The same company that we used 80 years ago still exists and the choices of timbers available are still very wide-ranging: from box-wood and ebony lines to herringbone and more complex and traditional patterns.


Boulle-work is an inlaying technique that lays brass into tortoise shell. In 1973, the trade of tortoiseshell worldwide was banned under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).

Although less common that other marquetry, Boulle-work is a French technique first introduced by André-Charles Boulle around the late 17th and early 18th centuries. He is generally considered the preeminent marquetry artist in his field at that time. His fame lead to his name given to this fashionable form of decoration which he may have pioneered.

We can restore Boulle-work where required and for any missing areas of tortoise shell there are now substitutes such as stained horn and plastic and a material called Delrin, which approximates it quite well.

Got a question about veneering, inlay or marquetry

We can help - ask for a free estimate now!

Start off by emailing us some photos, as we can usually provide an estimate from them - and after that, if you would prefer to arrange for us to visit your home or office you can contact us;

Click below or send photos to • [email protected],

by 'phone on • +44 (0) 20 7359 4281,

or in person by visiting our workshop at • 121-122 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 1QP

Email Us

Still unsure?

Not sure if it's something we would restore?

Don't feel embarrassed to ask. If you're not sure what you've got, can't identify the wood, don't recognise the age or period -

don’t worry, that's our job, not yours and we're very good at it too! We're here to provide you with free, honest advice.

We'll tell you what it is, where it's from and whether or not it's worth restoring. We really can restore most things -

you'd be surprised at the state of things we've been able to rescue.

Click the Email Us button on the left for a free estimate or read more by clicking the button below.

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