The Furniture Bible

Brand: Artisan
Model: MFR027616745224#VG
ISBN 1579655351
EAN: 9781579655358
Category: Home & Office
List Price: $40.00
Price: $27.47  (124 customer reviews)
You Save: $12.53 (31%)
Dimension: 8.00 x 10.00 x 1.00 inches
Shipping Wt: 0.22 pounds. FREE Shipping (Details)
Availability: In Stock
Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Christophe Pourny learned the art of furniture restoration in his father’s atelier in the South of France. In this, his first book, he teaches readers everything they need to know about the provenance and history of furniture, as well as how to restore, update, and care for their furniture―from antiques to midcentury pieces, family heirlooms or funky flea-market finds. The heart of the book is an overview of Pourny’s favorite techniques―ceruse, vernis anglais,and water gilding, among many others―with full-color step-by-step photographs to ensure that readers can easily replicate each refinishing technique at home. Pourny brings these techniques to life with a chapter devoted to real-world refinishing projects, from a veneered table to an ebonized desk, a gilt frame to a painted northern European hutch. Rounding out this comprehensive guide is care and maintenance information, including how to properly clean leather, polish hardware, fix a broken leg, and replace felt pads, as well as recipes to make your own wax, shellac, varnish, stain, and more.

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Top Reviews

Anything wood will LOVE you for getting this
by Dangerous when Cooking,Top Contributor: Knitting (5 out of 5 stars)
July 8, 2015

I may not have the skill, aptitude or patience to do what he does, but I will still end up with better-looking yard sale finds than I ever imagined possible. If you love the look of fine old furniture, but shop thrift stores/Craigslist/ebay, Pourny demonstates how to bring well-made but worn wood furniture back to maximum gorgeousness. I can't wait to revive a Widdicombe mid-century mod bachelor's chest I bought much worse for the wear--but well made and rock solid. I can revive the drawer fronts' original finish, repair veneer and stain the more damaged body with Pourny's not-quite ebonizing technique. I'm so glad I got this book.
Each technique--stain/oil or shellac finish, French wax polish, two degrees of ebonizing (true ebony and not-quite), gilding, repairs, hardware aging, etc.--is illustrated with step by step photos of what he does and clear, concise instructions. He gives a list of tools and materials up front, so you'll have what you need start to finish. And he names names in terms of products to use, so you'll get the one he himself relies on. And a huge advantage over other furniture makeover guides, he has exquisite taste. He understands the history of a style and works in ways to enhance it, not obliterate it, as did the mistake-book on furniture makeovers I also got. (Oh what awful, ugly things were done.)
Pourny suggests you have a DIY refinishing 'kit' on hand that fits your available space: what fits in a box (the bare necessities), a shelf, or a whole wall (soup to nuts). Having the right tools and materials are critical, but what he specifies is not exotic. His directions are thorough and exacting, but not at all intimidating. Best of all, the results he achieves are spectacular, and to some degree achievable, even by me.

Highly recommended.
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Best Furniture Finishing Book I've Found!!
by Girl_w_Style (5 out of 5 stars)
February 17, 2017

This quickly become my favorite furniture book of all time! I'm a decorative painter that also restores fine furniture & find a lot of books are filled with fluff that doesn't really give any new information or insight into age old practices or tries to keep their "techniques & products" a secret which eliminated the point of writing a book in this catagory. Unlike some of the others this book is FULL of information, wonderful examples, pictures, and shared tips & tricks on how to do each finish

He quickly establishes his expertise in the field so as the reader you know to trust what he's teaching. Credibility & masters in their craft are becoming hard to find in a world filled with blogs & videos that will teach you how to do anything yourself. Being a master craftsman requires mentorship and years of experience, which Christophe has! The finishes he completes as examples are absolutely stunning!

It starts out explaining to the reader how to differentiate periods of furniture, styles, places to shop, and how to become known in the industry as someone with a sharp eye. I particularly love the part that shows you how to figure out what the existing finish is (no matter the age) and how to fo about repairing or re-doing it.

He does a wonderful job of explaining why certain pieces are worth more than others; depending on where they were purchased, the craftsman that have worked on them, and the time period in which they come from. This is a great resource for those of us who struggle to explain to people why something of value or antiquity is worth the price!

I've not been able to put this will live in my shop & surely be reached for over & over until worn and haggard.

From someone whos purchased HUNDREDS of books in this area I can say this is a MUST OWN for anyone in the field or looking to refinish a piece of fine furniture while keeping with the period & original techniques. I've not found a better source to date!

I cannot thank Christophe for willingly sharing his knowledge with us all and putting it into such a wonderful and easy to read format. If you want to refinish your own pieces of furniture and care for them properly do yourself a favor & GET THE BIBLE!
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Excellent resource and entertaining read.
by Robert Linehan (5 out of 5 stars)
November 24, 2014

As someone with related experience in the trades I found this book to be clear, informative, and wide in scope. There is plenty of content that will satisfy a wide spectrum of people with varying interests and abilities. On one end people interested in furniture style and history will be able to also have a glimpse into how the actual finishes and techniques are created, restored and maintained. Those with a strong practical side will be able to make a connection to the evolution of furniture styles and how they form a visual vocabulary that helps us understand the elements of design that we see in all the varying types of furniture around us today. The pictures are clear and the drawings are charming. Truly a wide range of information with something for everyone all done with taste, style, and humor. I especially liked the photos of all the tools used in the trade. Highly recommend for the casual reader to the informed craftsperson.
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Perfect furniture restoration guide
by Jason Winters (5 out of 5 stars)
March 4, 2016

This is my favorite book for furniture restoration though it covers period identification, I use it for learning restoration techniques. And for that its absolutely amazing.

Just reading the materials in this book I've found that I know more about traditional restoration than the instructor of a recent course I took. The instructors solution for all problems was "just strip it" and when asked how to handle certain types of finishes his response was "it depends."

This is my go to book and I keep it near me when performing furniture restorations. Its just the right level of detail. I love making my own wax, shellac mix and performing my own french polish. All techniques well documented with photos in this book.

If you want information on more modern restoration techniques or a little more detail on the science behind certain processes, buy "Understanding Wood Finishing" in addition to this.
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A Thorough and Comprehensive Book on Refinishing
by ELM (5 out of 5 stars)
August 22, 2017

The best book I've found on the subject of refinishing for a home user. I'm a novice and have a lot of books on the subject on how to refinish furniture that I find at flea markets. This book is the best book I've found to take me from nervous novice to feeling confident enough to attempt a project. I started with a small table and the tips on sanding and filling were invaluable. I was very pleased with how the project turned out and it was my first ever attempt. I hope more practice makes it even better on future projects.

Updated April 2019: This book gets better and better for my needs. Right now I smell like turpentine because I just finished making my own tinted wax to use as a grain filler. I am refinishing a couple of MCM cocktail chairs and the wood used is most likely beech which blotches terribly if not prepped properly. I took the advice of preparing a pre-treatment of shellac and denatured alcohol and what a difference it made in the staining! I custom mixed the stain because I wanted a certain color hue and the stain went on like a dream. I can't wait to see what the filler does. Not sure I'm ready for a french polish test and will most likely seal with just poly but these details have taken a couple of mass produced not very high end MCM chairs (which have great lines and are solid wood which is leagues ahead of anything now) and makes them look custom. I'm also doing the upholstery work and the videos of Upholstery on Broadway on Youtube has taught me everything you'll ever need to reupholster like a pro using old master techniques.
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Love this book!
by Barbara N. (5 out of 5 stars)
January 25, 2017

I really enjoy this book, it is easy to understand and very instructive with photos all along the way. The author shows how this kind of work is such an old world craft and takes such pride in his work that it's changing the way I look at refinishing furniture - from being a pain to being somewhat of a pleasure. He even has some artistic illustrations he has drawn himself that I thought were so good that I bought the prints from him off eBay and ended up framing them.
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A must if you care for your furniture's finish
by Ingy (5 out of 5 stars)
August 3, 2019

Photographs illustrate the techniques described. Thorough but purposely not encyclopedic, so it is practical. It is simple but not oversimplified. I find that the necessary information, the essentials, are there to the degree of detail that enables me to do the job properly.
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Technique vs Science - Perfection
by Texster Ritter (5 out of 5 stars)
May 30, 2015

If you are the type of person that has a passion for designing, repairing, or creating furniture this has to be on your shelf. I discovered it after picking up the regular books from the main stream publishers. One tenth of the book is knowledge and the rest is hands on building. Most the time if you are reading a book on how to do something you don't need a project step by step to make you waste material. You need a knowledge base then practice the knowledge in skills. I know the only way to truly master woodworking is to put your skills to the test and learn from mistakes. But, how can you get the skills down if you do not know how the skills effect the wood and how the wood effects your skills. So with that said, This book is like having a true mentor by yourside to help wit the effects. It has everything easy and simple explanation for beginners and ways to jump ahead if you are more advanced.

Love it and wish their would be more books like this out there.
" Sometimes the skill is done and the outcome is not up to expectations. Is it because your technique is wrong or is science playing a factor?

Read this book if you want to understand true beauty of finishing wood.
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Must have furniture refinishing book!
by Aaron (5 out of 5 stars)
January 1, 2019

I came across this book looking for information about furniture restoration and refinishing. Years ago I was a professional cabinet maker and I'm am getting into refinishing as a retirement business. I wish I had had this book back in my cabinet making days! I thought I knew about wood finishing, I can truly say I have learned something new on every page of this book! Presented in terms a new woodworker would have no problem understanding yet complete enough for the professional to thoroughly enjoy. I highly recommend this book!
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Very comprehensive
by Gilbert T. (4 out of 5 stars)
June 20, 2017

Great condition of book from seller and content in it is amazing not only does it explain how to restore but also antiques and which ones are worth the process of restoration. I only wish i gave more details and juice on the actual processes in depth and maybe include a dvd in the next upgrade or volumes to follow. Thats the only reason why i gave a 4 star.

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