Q: My antique credenza has an ugly gouge, but I don’t want to drag it down the steps to a refinisher—does anyone make house calls?
A: Dry heat, city soot, and cramped quarters can do a real number on your best pieces. Luckily, antique-furniture restorer Eric Sweet (212-501-0430; by appointment) has carved out a niche as one of Manhattan’s few house-calling specialists. Having been in the business for almost three decades, Sweet starts with an in-home evaluation (Upper East and West Sides free, $75 elsewhere in Manhattan, $100 outside; the fee counts toward the work) and can complete your tarnished treasure’s refurbishing in anywhere from five minutes to a couple of weeks. Sweet does everything from simple touch-ups and hinge repairs to duplication of intricate carved trim. He’ll even reproduce hand-painted flowers, matching the colors and brush strokes to the original. Most big jobs come in at around $800 to $1,000. But be warned: You may find that your dear departed auntie wasn’t as generous as you’d believed. Treasured pieces sometimes turn out to be junk, says Sweet, and “if it’s fake, I can’t always make it look good.”