CITY OF NEWBURGH – Watching video tutorials or looking up home repair tips online doesn’t quite cut it for Sebastien Aubert.
“I like to learn from people. They tell you about their own experience,” Aubert said. “And it’s cool that they’re willing to share. I appreciate that.”
Aubert is a French native who moved to Newburgh from Brooklyn two years ago. He has had his hands full restoring a nearly 4,000-square-foot historic home on Grand Street that he purchased just before the pandemic’s onset.
Aubert wanted advice straight from the experts. He turned to Reggie Young, who offers workshops at his business, Hudson Valley House Parts.
Young, who moved to Newburgh seven years ago, has established a business that offers public classes specializing in historic-home restoration and preservation. He has extensive knowledge in restoration after spending years building New York City restaurants, and performing restorative work on Brooklyn brownstones and Hudson Valley homes.
Young said he wanted to help create job opportunities for people living in the city and he was drawn to the architecture for which Newburgh is well known.
His store, Hudson Valley House Parts , sells unique décor and architectural salvage items as well as materials that can be used for projects, like mortar preservation products, crown molding, plaster details and restoration plasters.
But it would be hard to make use of his inventory without knowing what to do with it. That’s one reason Young and his colleagues offer workshops on techniques and materials.
Aubert participated in workshops on window restoration and how to use lime mortar.
“I’m looking forward to another class,” Aubert said. “Actually, the lime mortar, if he does another one on that, I might take it again.”
Classes are usually limited to about 12 people for a more individualized experience. Past workshops have also covered mortar restoration pointing and stoop restoration.
“The techniques are not difficult,” Young said. “And to a large degree, the people who take our classes are DIY homeowners.”
He plans to offer a window restoration class in February and create a slate of workshops in the spring covering new topics. Dates for the February classes and information about what’s in store for next year will be announced later, Young said.
Find information on upcoming workshops and newsletters from Hudson Valley House Parts at hvhouseparts.com/workshops
More classes in the mid-Hudson
Hudson River Maritime Museum: 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston
The museum located along the Rondout Creek a mile inland from the Hudson River offers beginner-level woodworking classes. Groups or individuals from youths to adults, can get expert instruction on building items ranging from boats to live-edge wooden tables.
Other do-it-yourself woodworking classes have taught participants to build picture frames, Adirondack chairs, work benches, bookcases, fire log racks.
They try to keep the class sizes to about eight participants per workshop.
The museum provides building materials and tools for participants.
A schedule of classes being offered from now until April and registration details can be found at hrmm.org/woodworking under the Boat School tab.
Knot Too Shabby: 923 Main Street, Fishkill
Knot Too Shabby focuses on finishes and creative ways to use color in rooms, on furniture, for decorative touchesand more using chalk paint. The shop sells Annie Sloan painting books, brushes, stencils, painted furniture, paint and paint wax and according to owner Caryn Morales, is the only place in the Hudson Valley that stocks chalk paint by British designer Annie Sloan.
Morales has offered in-person and virtual workshops on paint techniques. She said she tries to keep class sizes small – two to six people – to allow for more personalized instruction.
Board & Brush Creative Studio: 7 West Street, Warwick
This crafty franchise in Warwick offers workshops for groups that are public and private. Participants can use materials provided by the shop to create their own decorative wooden signs using paint, stencils, stains and other supplies.
Adults can also enjoy beer or wine that can be purchased at the studio while they craft; BYOB is not allowed, according to the Board and Brush website.
People who sign up for a workshop must wear a mask to comply with COVID protocols.
Workshops can be scheduled for corporate events, kid or teen parties, virtual or in-person at the West Street location.
Openings and registration information is available at boardandbrush.com/warwick.
Bentwood Studio Inc: 130 Miller Hill Road, Carmel
One-on-one classes at this Putnam County studio are offered on an appointment-only basis and range from beginner to expert. Participants can learn to hand-craft tables, chairs, cabinetry, and learn bowl turning and jar spoon-making.
Bentwood Studio Inc. is led by father and son master craftsmen Ernie Palmieri and Glenn Palmieri.
The idea, Ernie Palmieri said, is to help students hone their woodworking skills and learn how to use tools that will allow them to build their own furniture at their own pace. The Palmieri’s also want to promote their passion for woodworking as a hobby.
Bentwood offers kids and family classes by appointment with some age restrictions for young children.
All building materials and equipment are supplied by Bentwood, though students can bring their own wood. The business’ website has information about how to safely dress for the classes.