Refinishing and restoring furniture reveals that most defects, blemishes and damage can be corrected or at least minimized. Doing so while still protecting and preserving the initial integrity and antique or vintage quality of a piece requires much thought, skill and understanding of what, exactly, a piece is. It is interesting, too, to find how much damage is often done to furniture by either neglect or willingly. The vintage piece I am currently working on is a prime example of both types of damage often found by furniture restorers.
Initially, most apparent was the damage visible to the dresser's top and the improper installation of drawer hardware. The top damage seems to be the result of perfumes and other liquids having an alcohol base spilling and leaking onto the wood surface. Besides damaging the varnish / shellac finish, there is some stain damage to the underlying wood. This is likely the result of some of the spilled products having had a tint added to their ingredients or of having sat in one place on the dresser for an extended time. Other discovered damage included holes drilled into the drawer fronts to accommodate the mismatched hardware, duct tape used to secure loose drawer bottoms and some nails used to strengthen drawer joints. All of this damage was very unnecessary.
Here are some simple tips in order to avoid some of these very common problems on your own furniture:
Always use a make-up tray to store your perfumes, lotions, after-shaves, etc. These can be very simple trays or more elaborate, decorative trays with glass, mirrored or stone bottoms. Whatever the material, the bottoms of the tray should be non-porous.
Never place a hot or cold cup or glass on furniture. Always use coasters or pads.
Tighten drawer pulls and handles properly. Loose hardware can damage the furniture finish when it moves from side to side.
If a drawer is loose do not nail it. Instead, use the correct type of glue: carpenters glue or hide glue. Never use “crazy glue” or duct tape on your furniture.
Use a quality furniture polish or wax sparingly on your furniture. Avoid using products with silicone. They do make the wood look shiny but they also choke it. Mostly, dusting is sufficient with only periodic, once or twice per year, polishing or waxing.
If you have any questions about what to do with a particular piece call me or stop by. Remember to look for the Redeux Rocking Chair sign out front. When it's up...I'm in. Stop and say hello!
Now, back to the Redeux Spa to continue restoring my newest treasure!