Restorer, Furniture

Minimum Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)/Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Not required

The tasks a Restorer, Furniture is expected to perform include:

Restoring and preserving historical furniture that is a part of a museum collection or similar institution, using a variety of hand tools and power tools

Applying knowledge of antique fabrics and wood furniture

Examining the furnishings to determine the type of material, extent of deterioration or damage, date of construction, etc.

Verifying the authenticity of the furniture

Installing and operating a variety of woodworking machines to fabricate, repair, reinforce and replace parts of furniture

Cutting shapes and attaching the various parts according to blueprints or drawings

Making use of hand tools

Matching various materials for colour, grain and texture

Stripping the old finish from the furnishings in the required manner

Making use of solvents and abrasives

Filling up the cracks, depressions and other blemishes using plastic wood or lacquer sticks

Treating the warped or stained surfaces to restore original contour and colour

Gluing or replacing the veneer sections, using power sander or abrasive materials

Washing or bleaching the furniture surfaces to prepare the surface for the application of the finish

Selecting coatings such as stain, lacquer or varnish according to the type of wood

Using brushes or spraying material onto the surface so as to protect the surface

Producing the desired appearance after the restoration is done

Polishing, spraying or waxing the finished pieces

Removing the damaged or deteriorated coverings from the upholstered furniture

Repairing, reinforcing or replacing components such as springs, webbing and padding

Selecting the fabric for new coverings, using the knowledge of the period and style of furniture

Following the instructions of the Curator (Museums)

Making use of tacks, sews, glues or staples for covering the furniture frame to attach the upholstery

Refurbishing the leather covering of all the furnishes, using softeners, solvents, adhesives, stains or polishes

Replacing damaged coverings with leather pieces of appropriate colour, grain and weight

Using stencils, gilds, embossing or painting designs or borders on restored pieces to reproduce the original appearance

Advising the curatorial staff on environmental conditions that are necessary for the preservation of furnishings in exhibit and storage areas

Fabricating the replicas of period furniture for using them in exhibits

Skilled in preserving different types of historical furniture

Skilled at using a variety of hand tools and power tools

Knowledge of antique fabrics and wood furniture

Proficient in evaluating the type of material, extent of deterioration or damage, date of construction, etc.

Proficient in repairing, reinforcing and replacing parts of furniture

Skilled in matching various materials for colour, grain and texture

Knowledge of the proper quantities of solvents and abrasives that are to be used

Skilled in using a power sander or abrasive material, brushes and spray material

Skilled in washing or bleaching furniture surfaces without damaging them

Proficient in replacing components such as springs, webbing, padding, etc.

Manual dexterity

Steady hand

Training in Art Restoration

Attention to detail






Aesthetic appreciation


It is not a desk job

Need not handle a team

Local travelling is necessary

Part-time work and contractual jobs maybe available

Work from home option is not available

Working hours

Museums usually work for 5/6 days a week and 6/7 hours everyday. This may vary from museum to museum

Shift system maybe available

Is the job suitable for a candidate with special needs

This job is not considered hazardous or dangerous

One may develop occupational hazards such as stress on eyes, mental and physical strain, joint pains, etc. if not taken care of

For candidates with experience - INR 8,000 to INR 16,000 per month

(These figures are indicative and subject to change)

The Restoration Industry in India

According to a special report Art in Perspective by The New York, the Indian art market is on the upswing. In recent years the country has seen a growing appetite for indigenously produced art. Despite this fact there are only a handful of recognised art conservation experts and so the demand for restorers in this area is always there.

India has focused more on conserving its monuments under the auspices of the Archaeological Survey of India. This trend has changed over the past 40 years, as now paintings and decorative arts have been garnering more attention because Indian art has begun significantly appreciating in value. There are a lot of prominent restorers working in this area. The countrys leading conservators can be found in Delhi and Mumbai, which experience the most frenetic art activity.

When it comes to the government the museum restoration work is typically done in-house by the museums own conservators team. This is because India has myriad laws governing public sector institutions that often prohibit private practitioners from participating in public projects. Considering all this it is safe to say that there is demand for a Restorer, Furniture in the present and that there is a lot of scope in the future as well.


Private restoration firms

Government societies


Cities and towns across India