BY ROSIE PIGA PIZZO
In 2002, when Tim Puro was working at Monroe County Bank, the idea of making a living repairing and restoring furniture didn’t seem feasible. It was a hobby he had enjoyed since age 12, but it wasn’t until he took a class on furniture spot repair and finishing at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking in Franklin, Indiana, that he realized it could be more.
Instructor Mitch Kohanek, a master spot finisher, told his students that if they could learn to master the technique, it could be a full-time job. Puro remembers thinking, “‘That’s cool. That’s what I want to learn.’ It was what I really wanted to do.”
By 2005, what had been a hobby had become clearly more, and he decided to devote all of his time to starting Monroe Furniture Restoration. “It was my mid-life crisis change,” says Puro, now 54.
A few years later, he was not only making a living restoring furniture, he needed someone to help with repairs. In 2011, while judging a woodworking contest at True Value Hardware in Ellettsville, Puro met Peter Brockman, a skilled cabinetmaker and a graduate of the fine furniture program at the College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California. Brockman won the contest, and was soon working alongside Puro.
Since 2014, Monroe Furniture Restoration has been located at 5267 W. Airport Road, although many jobs are done in clients’ homes. “If your dog chewed on the leg of a buffet, I can repair that on-site,” he says. “You’ll get the best color matches under the lighting where the furniture is located.”
Not only do Puro and Brockman re-glue wobbly chairs and refinish damaged surfaces, they examine pieces that might seem beyond repair to determine what can be done to restore them.
“My goal is to give you a price, and then you decide what to do. Oftentimes, people realize that they can’t find the pieces they have anywhere else, so they want them fixed,” Puro says. “It’s about trying to return a piece to a certain place in its timeline or make it look better.”
For more information, visit monroefurniturerestoration.com.