After carefully making sure any work done will not remove value from an antique, there are a number of things that can be done. Many piece that have fallen into disrepair, and left in storage, can be restore to useful and beautiful pieces.
When an antique furniture piece is restored, it often loses all value. This is a very hard concept for many people to understand. As our current generation adds or subtracts from the original work from a master crafts person, this is like painting a neon mustache onto the Mona Lisa painting that Leonardo da Vinci created during the 16th century. Our current neon paint may be fashionable, but it would change the work of a master.
First, is value. Unless your friend’s washstand bears the name Sheraton, Chippendale, or has at least a 250 year history, there won’t be much monetary value to it. Since it is a family piece there is a great amount of emotional value. I’m guessing that’s what led to the idea of restoring it in the first place.
I developed this technique mainly to survive doing what excited me most in this world. It’s plain, simple and easily accomplished using off the shelf materials from any good hardware or building materials store anywhere in the country.
Furniture Repair and Finishing Tips
A professional woodworker shares basic, time-tested tips that will help you work faster and get better results on your furniture projects. Dave’s repair and finishing tips are the fruit of careful thought blended with ingenious thriftiness. Translation: Let Dave help you get the job done well—and cheap.
Your kitchen’s look is shown off by its cabinet design more than any other element. To give your kitchen a cozy historical atmosphere, don’t use modern built-in style cabinets; remodel with vintage kitchen cabinets. Their signature was an unfitted character, a mixture of pieces with different finishes.
If you are an avid watcher of the television show The Antiques Road Show or other similar shows, you will know that it is a BIG no, no to do any work, as in re-finishing, re-building or re-storing to old antiques.
Furniture eventually reaches a point where it needs more than dusting and polishing. Many old pieces simply need to be cleaned to restore them. Removing the original finish of a valuable piece, if it is in good condition, would destroy much of its value and character.
Quite often, cracks in old furniture arise from failed glue joints. Repairing these becomes a matter of cleaning out loose fibers and old glue, fitting the parts, and gluing them back together. In many instances, a crack that doesn't occur at a joint can be repaired readily by cleaning, gluing, and clamping, too.
In this day and age of mass produced particle board furniture that screams cheap and short life span, it's nice to have a few pieces of hardwood antique furniture in the home, especially it they are hand–me- downs and so, have a bit of sentimentality.
Antique Bureau Restoration
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