FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Will it decrease or increase the value?
Generally when restoring an item back to its original condition the value of an item will remain the same or increase. We have experts on-staff that will advise you what is the best for your particular items & consult with you on the best course of action.
There are a few instances when we advise against refinishing. Certain items just are not worth refinishing, or they should remain in an untouched state. When these items enter our shop, we give our honest opinion of how far to go. Many times, we do only what is necessary & no more than that.
Is my heirloom worth restoring?
This can be a complex question. The answer usually falls into two categories: a) the piece is irreplaceable, or b) it is or will be valuable. Something can be "irreplaceable" in different ways. You may have a drawer handle that is no longer made or very often you will find "They just don't make them like they used to."
Irreplaceable value & sentimental value are one of the main reasons we fix/restore many items. In the case of an antique, you are probably enhancing the value of it & safeguarding it for the future.
With a repair such as putting a foot back on a teapot, these jobs are inexpensive compared to the value of the tea set.
What is electroplating?
Re-plating is renewing the surface of your item with the appropriate metal, silver, gold, pewter, brass, through an electromagnetic process. Re-plated items have a "Like New" condition. We plate silver, brass, copper, nickel, & gold.
The process of electroplating is fairly simple. To start with, a negative charge is placed on the object that will be plated. The object is then immersed in a salt solution of the metal that will be used to plate the object. From there, it’s simply a matter of attraction; the metallic ions of the salt are positively charged and are attracted to the negatively charged object. Once they connect on the surface of the object being plated, the positively charged ions revert back to their metallic form again & you have a newly electroplated object. Normandy can electroplate Brass, Copper, Nickel, Silver & Gold.
Controlling the thickness of the electroplated object is generally achieved by altering the time the object spends in the salt solution. The longer it remains inside the bath, the thicker the electroplated shell becomes. The shape of the object will also have an effect on the thickness. Sharp corners will be plated thicker than recessed areas. This is due to the electric current in the bath and how it flows more densely around corners.
Before electroplating an object, it must be cleaned thoroughly and all blemishes & scratches should be polished. As mentioned, recessed areas will plate less than sharp corners, so a scratch will become more prominent, rather than being smoothed over by the plated material.
The process of electroplating started at the beginning of the 20th century & continues to evolve today. Many common objects such as tin cans are actually electroplated steel with a protective layer of tin.
How to ship items to us?
Please enclose your name, address, daytime telephone number & email address. Also add a list of the items being sent (a packing list) & what needs to be done to each item. We suggest that you carefully pack your items & ship them so they may be insured, tracked & signed for. For you convenience UPS has shipping stores in most areas of the US:
Normandy will return ship items at no charge to our customers (lower 48 States only), except for the following:
Items over 25lbs. will be charged at the normal UPS shipping rate
Oversize items will be charged the Oversize UPS Shipping rate
How do I get an estimated price?
We cannot quote over the phone but it you’d like to send us a picture over text to (949) 631-5555 with a brief description of what you want done to the item we can provide a ballpark estimate. If you’d like a firm price & timeline bring it to the shop.
How long will it take?
The time to complete a job depends on many factors: existing backlog in the shop & the complexity of the particular job. Time of the year also plays a small factor in the scheduling of work. We also do have times when large projects will cause delays. Your job may also be delayed due to strict standards. If we are not satisfied with the results of a plating job, we will automatically redo it, however, this takes additional time.
Normally items that only need to be polished have a turn around time of three weeks. Items being restored, plated and/or repaired will extend this time. At the time we give you an estimate you will be told the approximate completion date.
If you have a special requirement please
give us a call, as we can usually work around some time constraints.
How long will it last?
1. Plating: Our silver plate should last a good twenty years. The same applies to our brass, copper, & gold plating.
1.1 Cleaning & Polishing: Keep in mind that if your item is solid brass or sterling silver, it does not require plating, just a professional cleaning & polishing.
2. Lacquering: Our Lacquer is a clear coating which is applied after an item has been refinished. The purpose of it is to preserve the finish & prevent tarnishing which occurs on brass, silver, & copper finishes. It has pros & cons and we leave it to the customer to decide which is best. We recommend it for lighting, brass hardware & many items; which are strictly decorative. You should have many years of freedom from polishing & it is removable when necessary. We do not recommend it for any items, which will contain food, water, or live plants. It is also impractical for many silver items. This is a case-by-case decision which we will be glad to discuss with you. It should be noted, however, that unlike our other services, we will not warranty lacquering.
Can we match your finish?
Every manufacturer has a different version of their finishes, e.g. EMTEK's Polished Brass is different than Newport Brass’ Polished Brass & so on. Therefore, if you are trying to match a specific manufacture’s finish, it’s important that you bring a sample with you so we can get it as close to the finish as possible. The sample size can be small just so we have something to compare to. We will need to have the sample through the entire process until the job is complete.
How should I prepare my items for refinishing?
Hardware: All hardware should be disassembled & removed from their boxes. All screws & small parts should be kept loose in a zip-lock type bag – please do not tape them to anything.
Plumbing Fixtures: All plumbing fixtures should be disassembled by a plumber. All hoses, plastic/rubber parts/gaskets should remain at home. Please only bring in the parts that need to be refinished.
Silver: Please keep your silver felt/dust bags at home.
Lampshades: Please keep all lampshades & bulbs at home unless the lampshade(s) have something on them that need refinishing.