RESTORING THE BRUTALIST STYLE PERCIVAL LAFER COFFEE TABLE

Mike talks about...

Restoring the Brutalist-Style Percival Lafer Coffee Table

 

 

What made this piece worthy of restoration?

I appreciate the boldly unique style of this 1970's table. Let's face it, it isn't the most practical way to go and there are certainly sturdier coffee tables to be had--but there is so much richness in the different levels and textures and colors. Sometimes we take wood for granted. This design let's us see wood in a different way, as a very dynamic visual medium.

And, the table has some other advantages. Since the two sides are fastened with piano-style hinges, the whole thing folds up to store or ship quite easily. The glass top protects the wood and provides additional strength.

 

Who is the designer?

This table is Percival Lafer design, manufactured by his family's Brazilian furniture company. He was an interesting guy. He went to architecture school, even though he probably could have taken over the family furniture business w

 

What did it need?

Well, the glass had been protecting the middle of the table for decades, and the sides had born up well, but the wood of the frame had taken some bangs over the years and needed to be completely refinished. Structurally, the piece was sound. Aesthetically, it needed attention to bring it back to its original glory.

 

What steps did you take?

I painstakingly cleaned every crevice and facet of the piece on the top and side, using a variety of tools. There was 40+ years of caked dust and grime on the piece, so the cleaning took almost as long as the actual refinishing I did on the piece. You should never underestimate the aesthetic impact of a good cleaning on a piece of furniture.

Then I meticulously hand sanded the outer hard wood in order to renew the surface for a completely new oiled finish. One or two cracks had to be filled...the rest I was able to sand and finish with Danish oil. I was pleased with the beautiful tonal match 

After I was satisfied with the wood, I had a new piece of glass cut for the table...I could have used the old one, but when you go to the kind of trouble I do to bring a piece back, you don't want to settle for glass with even a few scratches.

 

This table recently sold.

 

                                                            

 

 



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