Penwork Table

Regency penwork table

Regency Penwork Table Restoration

Click image to open in enlargement window. Click image again to magnify. Use back button to return.

The photo above shows an English Regency penwork table, as it arrived in my studio. Evidently, the base, and a corner of the top, had been repeatedly gnawed by a pet dog.

In addition to that, the table had been exposed to wide ranges in environmental temperature and relative humidity, causing excessive expansion and contraction of the wood. Since the penwork decoration is painted on a veneer applied to solid wood, the inherent tensions in this construction resulted in some warping of the solid wood, and some splitting and lifting of the veneer.

The first step was to try to secure the loose areas on the top and base.

repair 1


repair 2

The detail photos below give some idea of the damage to the base, and the subsequent restoration.

foot before 1

First area

foot after 1


foot before 2 cr rs

Second area

foot after 2


foot before 3

Third area

foot after 3


base after 2

Base after restoration


The following photos show a similar treatment for the top corner.

top corner before

Corner damage before and after.

top corner after


On the top, the various splits and openings were filled and inpainted to match the surrounding area.

top split before

Above, one of many openings to be addressed

top after cr

The top, after repairing, cleaning and finishing.


Scagliola Table Top

scagliola-table-top_0325-wpl11-rs-adj wpl

Restoration of a Scagliola Table Top

Click image to open in enlargement window. Click image again to magnify. Use back button to return.

Shown above is a photo of an old scagliola table top, taken after restoration.  The detail photo below shows the condition of the table top when I received it.

Client photo

The top had been in storage for many years, after suffering much damage from previous use. Evidently a very degraded varnish had allowed water to penetrate to the scagliola surface, softening the material enough to cause considerable losses. After thorough examination I decided to investigate the possibility, and the benefits, of removing all of the old varnish.


Varnish removal test

The photo above illustrates some tools and materials used for testing the varnish removal, and a “wet color” test to determine the visual effects of the exposed scagliola surface. I decided to proceed with the varnish removal.


 Varnish removal begun

Beginning the removal at the corner.


Varnish removal near completion

Half way through.


Varnish removal complete cr sk

Varnish removal complete.


Wet color cr sk

At this stage, I apply a fluid (in this case mineral spirits) to the top, to view it’s “wet color”. While wet, I can see that the surface is clean and smooth, and that all of the images are clear and colorful. I can now begin to address the damage to the scagliola.


marbleized paper before

The photo above of the “marbleized paper”, and the photo below of the “sheet music” show the areas that required the most attention.

Music sheet before


Marbleized paper music sheet after

These photos show the area after treatment.

Music sheet after


top left cr rs

After all of the damaged areas had been restored, the entire table was given a finish that saturated all the colors and provided protection for future use.

The left side of the top is shown above, the right side below.

top right cr adj


Folk Art TV Cabinets Link

The TV cabinets shown below are part of a group of cabinets designed by Anthony Baratta LLC for the guest rooms in a private residence.

tv cabinet_8723wpl


tv cabinet_8688wpl


tv cabinet_8766wpl


tv cabinet_8754wpl


About The Photos On This Site


The photos shown on this site* are examples of our work, which represent the  various aspects of our business as described under the heading “About Kevin Cross Studio”. All of the painting, gilding and finishing was executed by Kevin Cross Studio.

The photos of finished projects are usually taken in our studio after completion of the work, prior to delivery/installation, with the items “set up” as if in a room setting, rather than being shown against a photo back drop, or a Photoshop white background. However, there are a few instances of photos taken on site.

Many of the completed pieces are listed individually in the navigation bar at right. For economy of space, others have been grouped together under one heading, e.g. “More Tables”, or “Chairs”.

Occasionally we are asked to produce some art work that may be only a part of a larger project, e.g.  a top of a table,  some panels set into the frames of cabinet doors, or project models that represent the art work to be done. These photos are also grouped together,  under the headings “Painted Table Tops”, “Painted Cabinets Doors and Panels”, etc.

Photo Captions

The furniture and artwork shown on this site is all essentially traditional in style; most of the custom furniture pieces are based directly on antique models. The captions under the photos  serve as a descriptive name for each piece, e.g. “George III Console Table”, or “Italian Rococo Commode”, and also indicate the source of inspiration.

The actual origin of the furniture generally falls into one of three categories:

Custom commission 

Much of the furniture shown on this site is built to order, usually to a design specified by an architect, interior designer, or private client. In some cases, they may provide the piece, sending it to our studio for finishing; alternatively we may be asked to oversee the entire production.


Some of the photos are of antique pieces, i.e. “period” pieces that originate in the time (period) that their appearance would indicate. They may be shown here as examples of restoration, or to serve as potential inspiration for custom commissions.

Antique Style

This term** generally refers to all types of traditional furniture that are built somewhat in the style of an antique, but are not actually period antiques. Unlike antiques, these pieces usually do not have a high intrinsic value. However, many of them are of good form, and may serve well as a base for redecorating.

Lastly, there are some photos shown of furniture that I produced for myself, for personal reasons. Some of these I still have, some have been sold, and some have served as models for other custom orders. Examples of these would include a Baltimore table, some Philadelphia Classical chairs, a George III Sheraton armchair, etc.


*The photos shown on this site (except for a few older photos and the restoration photos) were taken and processed by Dianna Nelson,

**Other similar terms: A “reproduction” usually suggests something mass produced, with varying degrees of accuracy. Alternatively, a “replica” implies an exact copy. “Bench-made”, “hand crafted”, and “artisan” all imply subtle shades of authenticity. More recently, the word “vintage” has come into popular use, usually associated with 20th century pieces of all types, e.g. “mid-century modern”.


Lacquer Demonstration

lacquer demo 4_0189

Lacquer Panel Demonstration

Project Model

Click image to open in enlargement window. Click image again to magnify. Use back button to return.

The panel shown above was created as a model, in preparation for a project in which several  panels of various sizes would be installed around the walls of a residential entrance hall (see some photos of the completed project under the entry “White Lacquer Panels” in the navigation bar).

While preparing it, I took some photos in progress, to demonstrate the basic procedure for this type of lacquer work.

The dimensions of the panel are 16″ x 20″. The support is 1/8″ hardboard, painted white. (These choices are optional, other sizes and materials could be substituted).


lacquer demo drawing_0141


The design was drawn on tracing paper, for easy transfer. To best convey the ultimate effect, I tried to fit as many of the traditional landscape elements as possible in this small space.

In each of the stages that follow, only the particular design elements required are transferred from the drawing.


lacquer demo 1_9106

Raised Elements

After painting the panel, the first stage is applying the raised elements. Some of them may be applied in one step, others may require multiple layers. After completion, they are allowed to dry. The white surface is inspected thoroughly for pencil lines, smudges, etc. These elements are now sealed with the appropriate finishing material, either independently, or by sealing the entire surface.


lacquer demo 2

:Powdered Elements

The metallic powders, mostly gold and silver, are applied to render the landscape and architectural forms. After drying, and another inspection for blemishes, the panel is sealed again.


lacquer demo 3

Gilding the Raised Elements

The decision to gild the raised elements now, or after the following stage, is optional. I usually prefer to do it at this time, as it helps me to visualize the details that follow. However, being raised above the surface makes them more vulnerable to damage as work progresses; care must be taken to avoid this. If gilded now, they are sealed before continuing.


lacquer demo 4_0189

Gilded Details

Lastly, all of the gilded details are added. Some of them may be transferred from the drawing, particularly straight lines, or precisely placed elements like the birds, etc. The foliage is painted freehand.

If the lacquer style is such that all of the art work is rendered in metallic pigments alone, the panel would be ready for the final finishing at this time.

In this case, as typically, I added some details in ink. (This is common traditionally; sometimes small details are painted in red lacquer).

To complete this panel, after adding the gilded details, the panel was sealed. The ink work was then applied and sealed, followed by the final finishing.


White and blue lacquer panel link

TR Armoire wpl 1

White and Blue Armoire

I was asked by an architect to submit ideas for the decoration of an armoire that was to be built for his client. After a discussion about colors, motifs, etc. I created the blue and white sample panel linked to this page. The armoire was then constructed, and I completed the finish work as shown.