Parquetry and marquetry are often confused. The difference, however, is simple: both are forms of inlay, using different veneers, but in parquetry the patterns are geometric, whereas those in marquetry are pictorial or floral.


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Chatelaine's Antiques & Appraisals Magazine > Furniture > Expert Tip: Repairing Parquetry

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Replacing Parquetry

 Time, patience and the right tools and materials are the key to a good invisible repair on your prized piece of parquetry.

 Parquetry and marquetry are often confused. The difference, however, is simple: both are forms of inlay, using different veneers, but in parquetry the patterns are geometric, whereas those in marquetry are pictorial or floral.

 The techniques for repairing the two are very similar. The only significant difference is that parquetry shapes tend to be easier to cut out because they are regular geometric shapes that can be accurately measured and, by and large, they have straight-line edges that can be cut out with a sharp knife against a straight edge. Parquetry, therefore, is generally easier to repair.

 For details of where to buy veneers and how best to match colours refer to the article on marquetry repairs. To choose which veneers you need, study the parquetry pattern carefully to decide how it would continue across the damaged area. Note the number of veneers used in the pattern, and match any new veneers as closely as possible.

 Parquetry patterns are sometimes very intricate and cover a large area; at other times they can form a simple but effective contrasting border.

 Always make sure you clear out all the old glue, together with any remnants of damaged veneer, before you cut new pieces. This is essential if you are to cut the pieces to a good fit, and also ensures a good bond when gluing the new pieces in place.

 Make sure you allow the adhesive to dry thoroughly before removing the clamp. If the new piece is slightly thicker than the existing parquetry and stands proud, use a broad-bladed chisel to carefully trim it back to the same level as the surrounding pieces.

 While you are replacing missing pieces, re-glue any other loose pieces.


  Veneers are fragile and sometimes difficult to cut.  If you find the veneer keeps splitting apply adhesive tape to the surface before trimming it to shape.
  Cut the veneer on on a scrap piece of hardboard or wood to avoid damaging your work surface.
  Place a piece of card or a thin piece of wood over the glued pieces before clamping up so the pressure of the clamp is evenly distributed.
  Sheets of veneer buckle easily if stored in places that are damp or too hot. Where possible keep them in a well-aired roe m medium temperature and use them as soon as you can.

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