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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION ARCHIVE IV

 

Water rings on antique dresser

From: Anna

Comments

I have purchased an old dresser and it has a large water

ring on the top. What can I use to remove this. I did try

some solvent (antique restorer) that worked well for the

rest of the finish, but it did nothing to the water ring.

Any suggestions??

 

Re: Water rings on antique dresser

From: Jim Cole

Comments

If the water ring is white it is in the finish and if it

is a lacquer or shellac finish you can use Blush Eraser

which is available thru Woodworkers Supply. If the water

mark is black you will have to remove the finish and

bleach the wood to remove it.

 

Re: Water rings on antique dresser

From: stephen@ilovewood.com

Comments

Try using Moses T's Reviver, it will remove any water rings.

I have used this on hundreds of pieces of antique furniture

and only failed to remove rings on one table top.

 


antique carrige lamps

From: mcelvy@pulse.net

Comments

I have a pair of antique carriage lamps from my

grandmother. One is very rusted, one is not too bad.

One is converted to electricity and one is still

candle. What is the best way to refinish the lamps

so they can be used outside?

 

Re: antique carrige lamps

From: Jim Cole

Comments

I would clean the rust from them primne with auto

primer and paint with exterior enamel.

 

Re: antique carrige lamps

From: Lovejoy

Comments

I agree with Jim, only l would use an automotive

paint for a top coat, much nicer range of colours ;~))


Pine Harevest Table Top

From: Judith Armour

Comments

I have a large pine harvest table that I need to

fininsh the top. I've made this table myself, the

wood is at least 125 yrs old, hence asking this

question here. I've got it sanded down and now I'm

ready to finish it. What do I use? I thought I would

use danish oil first but I'm not sure what type of

"sealer", if one at all. It's going to be used in

the dining room , so I'm worried about it getting

stained too easily. any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

 

Re: Pine Harevest Table Top

From: Jim Cole

Comments

If you use a wipe on type "oil" it should be

self sealing. Most of these socalled oils are

really long oil varniches which will build a

film and give you better protection against

spotting and staining. I like the Minwax Antique

Oil it works easily and builds a nice finish that

can be rubbed out with 0000 steel wool to a nice

low luster. Follow the directions on the can and

put on at least 3 coats. For a nice look and a

little more protection paste wax the top after rubbing out.

 

Re: Pine Harevest Table Top

From: Lovejoy

Comments

If you are mainly interested in durability and ease

of application, l would reccomend using a paste varnish.

This finish is very easy to use, you just wipe it on and

buff. Three coats followed by a coat of paste wax applied

with 0000 steel wool will give you a nice satin sheen without

the upkeep of an oil finish.

 


antique cupborad - odor & to refinish?

From: Dianna McCauley

Comments

Several years ago my Grandmother gave me

her antique kitchen cupboard. Basically

the only age damage that has occurred has

been the veneer on the lower side panels

is peeling somewhat. It had been stored

in her basement for many years. It is at my

Mother's house now and I will be bringing it

home and want to enjoy it in my house, but I

have two problems. How do I get the musty odor

out of it? Also, age and moisture have darkened

the wood to an extremely dark brown, almost a

black/brown. I don't know what kind of wood it is

but would like to refinish it so it is lighter

and so the beautiful grain will again stand out.

Will I ruin it's antique value by refinishing it?

It is not attractive in the condition it is in

with the odor and darkened wood. I will be searching

for its history when I get it, but it is complete

with its glass canisters, flour sifter, bread box,

and pull out tin shelf. Also, the original painted

glass on the upper doors is still in very good

condition, no peeling, etc. I understand it was

the top of the line in its day. It was given to

my Grandmother and Grandfather when they were

married but I don't know if it was new or used

at the time. I'm guessing it is at least 80 to

90 years old. These are probably old questions,

but I'm new to this game and need guidance.

 

Re: antique cupborad - odor & to refinish?

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Dianna it sounds like what you have is a hoosier cabinet.

Since this one appears to have had a cleat finish it would

be one of the better ones. The cheaper models were made of

mixed woods and painted and are far more common. The majority

of the clear finish ones are oak. The veneer can be reglued by

injecting and spreading glue under the loose poritons and

clamping it down with wax paper separating the wood from

any cauls you need to get even pressure. Make all repairs

before removing the finish. The odor could be coming form

mold wash the inside and under surfaces with a 50/50 mix of

water and household bleach rinse well with clear water and

dry. Drier fabrich softner sheets left in the cabinet will

help remove any residual odor. I prefer the unscented ones.

The "tin" slider is probably Zinc, so don't get any stripper on it.

 

 

Re: antique cupborad - odor & to refinish?

From: Lovejoy

Comments

Hi jim, if the odour still lingers on after the

bleaching Dianna could try placing baking soda or

charcoal on plates inside the cabinet. Bright sunshine

and a bit of a breeze will also work wonders with musty odours.

 


  

Stained glass front door

From: mizzou_sigma91@yahoo.com

Comments

My wife purchased an old front door with stained

glass windows. She wants to strip off the paint but

was concerned about the stained glass. Some of the

glass has paint on it. Should she be concerned with

what is applied on the door/windows or not. What

would you recommend using?

 

Re: Stained glass front door

From: Jim Cole

Comments

I have never had a problem with commercial strippers

harming glass, but it would be a good idea to test first

wiht any that you want to use. Stripeze, Kutzit, Savograin

and others all make good strippers. Most of these are going

to be methyline chloride based and since MC is heavy in

general the heavier a can is the more MC it contains. One

note sometimes stripper will discolor the lead came in the

glass so try it there too or mask it off before stripping the glass.

 


Southern Wardrobe

From: casinada@wimberley-tx.com

Comments

I have inherited an old family wardrobe. It has two

coats of paint dating from the 60's and 70's covering

the original finish. From unpaited areas it is clear

the old finish was not removed, merely painted over. Is

there a way to remove the paint and save any of the old

patina? I appreciate any information or advice you can offer.

 

 

Re: Southern Wardrobe

From: Jim Cole

Comments

From your questions I presume that the original

finish is a clear finish. It is very hard to remove

paint from a clear finish without removing the clear

finish too. You can do it with some care and time but

it won't be perfect. Us a commercial paint stripper

and scrape geently or steel wool as soon as the paint

starts to soften do not wait for it to bubble, work

in small area no bigger thatn 12" x 12". Practice on

areas that are hard to see. The most important thing

is not to sand any more than you have too most of the

"patina" is in the wood and is caosed gy oxidation and

UV exposure and can be very thin, sometimes less than

1/64 inch so it is easily sanded off.

 


Mahagony veneer chests of drawers

From: Kendall

Comments

I have inherited two chests of drawers, early

to mid-19th century, Empire, both family pieces

and both need lots of work (dull finish, broken

knobs, veneer damaged/missing) and despite lists

of restorers in my area (Long Island, NY) I don't

know where to start or what to ask to make sure

I'm getting the right person to do the job. I have

other "newer" Victorian pieces (e.g. an upholstered

sleigh rocker) as well that need work but these are

the oldest and are the biggest jobs. I'm not from

this area and I don't know anyone who's had this

"problem." Can you offer some guidance?

 

Re: Mahagony veneer chests of drawers

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Try the Furniture Doctor 516.785.0980. If he can't help

you pehaps he can give you a referral.

 


refinishing a table

From: Scott Geiswite senior in highschool

Comments

I have an 1937 oak hand made peiecn of furniture

that was made by my great grandfather and I was

wondering if you would be kind enought tom tell

me what stain to use to make it look authentic.

 

Re: refinishing a table

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Scott the piece was probably originally finshed

in a dark color as that was the general style when

it was made. Look for clues under the edges and in

the joint areas to see what color might have originally

been used than buy a good stain like Minwax and test

for color match. You may have to buy more than one

color and mix them to get a match. I use a teaspoon

and keep a count of how many of each color to make

small batches for testing then use a bigger measure

in the same ratio to make enough to stain the entire

piece at one time.

  


Platform Rocker

From: KleinJ@eagle.cc.ukans.edu

Comments

I have an old oak platform rocker (probably

purchased by family in Detroit; exact time

unknown). While having it reupholstered, we

discovered more carved, curving wood at head

level on the back that had been covered by old

upholstery. Above this curving, dark-stained

wood, is more lightly stain wood (all the same

piece of wood) with a scalloped top and pencil

marks suggesting a shell design. Can you tell

me how the top of this chair was originally

upholstered? Could very top have been cushioned

as additional headrest? Did it used to have

additional wood carving on top that was removed

perhaps? Someone tacked a thin, straight piece

of wood on top of the scallopping to make it a

straight (rounded) top. What kind of padding

and internal fabric support was used on the

original rocker? I'd also like to know approximate

dates of when this rocker may have manufactured.

 

Re: Platform Rocker

From: Jim Cole

Comments

The top could hav been upholstered as a

head rest. I have seen many that were

done this way. Your upholsterer should be

able to build up a good base using webbing

on the back and seat then I would use modern

materials as they last longer and are much

more comforable. If you can post a picture

I will be glad to look at it and see if I

can tell the date on manufacture.

 


 japan drier in spar varnish

From: Pete Callesen

Comments

When using spar varnish in high humidity

and it's effecting the drying time, can a

japan drier be added to shorten the drying

time? Will it effect the strength and durability

of the finish? Any adverse effects? Thanks

 

Re: japan drier in spar varnish

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Pete the answer is maybe. I would prefer to use a

faster solvent as a thinner or more thinner of the

same type as what's in the varnish either one should

speed drying time without effecting the strength of

the final finish, but will affect the thickness of coats

so that you may have to put on an extra coat or to to

build the desired film thicknes. IN the long run it may

be that the extrea time of recoating may take as long as

waiting for out of the can finish to dry in humid weather..

One other possible cure is to put AC in your shop it sure

helps in mine when the humidity and the temp are both in

the 90's range.

 


Eastlake Fainting Sofa

From: thewells@hotmail.com

Comments

I have a fainting sofa that I was told was

from the late 1800's. the tapestry upholstry

is in fair condition and the wood(oak)finish

is also in fair condition. how will the value

of this piece be affected by refinishing ?

 

Re: Eastlake Fainting Sofa

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Please see my response under Old Wardrobe. If the finish

is fair a cleaning and waxing may be all it needs or perhaps

a little finish padded on in thin spots.

 


 Old wardrobe

From: Chris

Comments

Jim, I picked up an old wardrobe and I'm not

sure if I should do any repairs on it other

than regluing the veneers. I hear that alot

of pieces lose value if they are refinished. True???

 

Re: Old wardrobe

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Chris a lot of the talk about value is I think

mostly just that talk. It seems to have been started

by people who want to impress us with their knowledge

etc. The average piece is probably not harmed by refinishing

or restoring the finish. However if the piece only needs

veener reglued and perhaps a little touch up to macth in

the repirs that is all I would do to it because that will

save a lot of work.

 


Re: OAK BUFFET

From: Jim Cole

Comments

You can pad in lacquer or shellac with color added

until you have the shade matched. Pick a color that

is lighter than the finished color and build it in

layers until you get a match then polish to match

the sheen of the existing finish.

 

OAK BUFFET

From: Glen Wormsbecker

Comments

I have a oak buffet that is at least 100 years old.

The Finnish on top is still fairly good. However,

there are three square lightened area's about the

size of a Kleenex box. The whole buffet is a medium

dark finish, but these three area's are almost to

the point of appearing blonde. Besides stripping

the whole top piece, is there a way to make it

all match up again.

 


Platform Rocker

From: KleinJ@eagle.cc.ukans.edu

Comments

I have an old oak platform rocker (probably purchased

by family in Detroit; exact time unknown). While having

it reupholstered, we discovered more carved, curving wood

at head level on the back that had been covered by old

upholstery. Above this curving, dark-stained wood, is more

lightly stain wood (all the same piece of wood) with a

scalloped top and pencil marks suggesting a shell design.

Can you tell me how the top of this chair was originally

upholstered? Could very top have been cushioned as additional

headrest? Did it used to have additional wood carving on top

that was removed perhaps? Someone tacked a thin, straight piece

of wood on top of the scallopping to make it a straight

(rounded) top. What kind of padding and internal fabric

support was used on the original rocker? I'd also like to

know approximate dates of when this rocker may have manufactured.

 

Re: Platform Rocker

From: Jim Cole

Comments

The top could hav been upholstered as a head rest.

I have seen many that were done this way. Your upholsterer

should be able to build up a good base using webbing on the

back and seat then I would use modern materials as they last

longer and are much more comforable. If you can post a

picture I will be glad to look at it and see if I can tell

the date on manufacture.

 


jose barrig„o

From: portugal

Comments

I am trying to restore a old "Tyler roll-top desk"

with secret compartement behind the desk and with 2

drawers in the center, that after you pull them out

just a little you can them open the side drawers.It

was made in late 1890 !? It is a 2 tone desk with

mahogony and other wood, like the desk made by "William

Wooten" of Indiana. Iwould like to get more information

on "Tyler Desk Co. St. louis.mo.And i would like to know

how should I finish the desk; oil, wax,shellac...

 

Re: jose barrig„o

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Your desk would have either a shellac or varnish finish and

I would recommend a brushed or wipe on varnish. The reason

for pulling the drawers out a little realeases the side

drawers is that takes the pressure off the spring loaded

locking mechanism.

 


cane supplier?

From: Bert Stark

Comments

I need some hipphuggers for an old pressed back cane

bottom chair. The hipphugger is held in by screws from

the bottom and back side of the chair. Some suppliers please.

 

Re: cane supplier?

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Van Dykes @ vandykes.com has them


 

Antique trunk refinishing

From: jmoess@hotmail.com

Comments

I have an old Faultless trunk with a impenetrable black coating that is like tar. I s there any solvent that will remove this.

 

Re: Antique trunk refinishing

From: Jim Cole

Comments

It may be tar or at least asphaltum which is

virtually the same thing. If it is Naptha or

mineral spirits will remove it if if is not

coated with varnish which was a common treatment.

In that case a good grade of stripper should remove it.

 


"The Illinois"icebox

From: Tim Cass cmsss@yahoo.com

Comments

Sorry I gave misinformation.The 2 doors on the right side hold

the ice and drip pan. Thanks, Tim

  

Re: "The Illinois" icebox

From: Jim Cole

Comments

I can't tell you anyhing about Illinois Ice Boxes but these pieces

were made from the late 1800's till the early 1900's around 1930 or

so and later for sale in some isolated areas. Some clues to age are

the liners porcelain liners were gernerally earlier than galvanized.

Heavier hardare was also used on some earlier boxes.

 

Re: "The Illinois" icebox

From: Tim Cass

Comments

Thanks Tom, I appreciate you responding. If you find

more facts, I"ll be checking back daily.Maybe some

dealers you know may have further info.. We don't

have too many good dealers here. Tim

 


wicker

From: Petr Blue

Comments

I'm installing new wicker on old chairs--need to know the way to

make the wicker look aged. I've tinted lacquer with pigment before

with decent results but I've heard that the lacquer will eventually

break loose. Any info really appreciated. thanks

 

Re: wicker

From: Jim Cole

Comments

I usually use artists pigments or dyes of get

the color correct then coat with lacquer. Thge

lacquer will eventually fail, but so will any

thing else you pu on it. The lacquer will bee

the easiest to repair.

 


Milk Paint

From: Mantis3130@aol.com

Comments

I have an oak dry sink (commode) early 1800. I wanted to restore.

Under the dark stain I'm getting white.I think this is the original

color.My husband wants to stain the oak and I want to use white milk paint.

 

Re: Milk Paint

From: Jim Cole

Comments

If the paint is oringinal I would suggest you

stay with it. Milk paint is adverstised in the

Old House Journal

 


What finish on birch?

From: linda

Comments

It looks like I am in for a long job! My house is full

of 45-yr-old birch paneling. I found by experimentation

that I could remove the water stains and cloudy finsh

with any acetone- based product. The question: What finish

should I use? Clearly, I can't spray anything on. I need

something that will (a) resist water, and (b) preferably non-yellowing.

  

Re: What finish on birch?

From: Jim Cole

Comments

You could use precatalyzed lacquer and you could spray it if you

will bee sure to have adequate ventilation with exhaust fans

(explosion proof) and wear a good quaslity respirator with organic filter inserts.

 

Re: What finish on birch?

From: Jim Cole

Comments

You should also turn off any pilot lites and air conditioners

refrigerators any thaind that can spark when it kicks on.

 


 

cedar chest

From: dverzal@hotmail.com

Comments

I'm restoring a cedar chest and there is a large oil spot

on the inside bottom how do I get it out?

 

Re: cedar chest

From: jim cole

Comments

I have had good luck soaking these spots with a

thin solvent like lighter fluid and then cover

them with talc or corn meal to soak up the released

oil and solvent it ususally has to be done several

times to remove a stain and the stain will recur if

you put an oil based stain or finish over it.

 


 

Leather Sofa

From: Georgia956@aol.com

Comments

I inherited a leather sofa, bought new in 1970.

I am nnot sure what type of leather it is, it is

not like a Chesterfield but is quite soft. It is

quite grubby now and I would like advice on how best

to clean it, without taking it to a professional.

 

Re: Leather Sofa

From: JI Cole

Comments

Check with Tandy Leather for a good grade of cleaner

followed by a polish which will keep the leather soft.

 


wagon wheel preservation

From: sohappy@matnet.com

Comments

I have an old wagon wheel from my greatgrandpa's

milk wagon. I am wondering how to preserve it as

it seems to be drying out. It sits in the sun in

an enclosed deck so it is not exposed to rain,etc.

It has a metal rim intact and all the spokes are intact.

 

Re: wagon wheel preservation

From: Jim Cole

Comments

HMMM Seems to me that wagon wheels wer made to

operate in all sorts of environments many involving

getting them wet. I don't think you should leave a

wheel where it is subject to a lot of heat from the

sun but is never wetted. I would try wetting it and

then repairing or replacing the finish as necessary

to keep it from trying out too much.


  

Secretary, Oak Carved

From: Rhoda Lewis pml@cs.sunysb.edu

Comments

I have a 70+ year old secretary that is missing the

fold-down desk top and hinges. I am looking for someone

in the New York City or Long Island area to identify

the style and period and make an appropriate new desk top.

 

Re: Secretary, Oak Carved

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Go to the home page for this site and follow the

directions to the New York list of restorers and

find one near you.

 


Antique Wood Tool Chest

From: mldiogenes@aol.com

Comments

Are there antiques that should not be "restored"?

I recently bought the above item, planned to strip,

sand, seal, stain, etc. it. I just saw almost a

duplicate of this item on the History Channel

being displayed, unrestored, as a museum piece

(mine is in MUCH better condition)and am having

second thoughts. It probably dates from the early

19th century. What is your advice? Thank you.

Mike Lynds, Raleigh, NC.

 

Re: Antique Wood Tool Chest

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Mike ther are pieces that are definitely better left

unrestored and this may well be one of them. If you

like I will be glad to take a look at it for you. I'm

only about 35 miles from Raleigh. EMail jac111@new-vista1.com

 


Leather Top Card Table

From: Melissa

Comments

I have an Italian Card Table that originally had

a turquoise leather top. I had it refinished and

the refinisher replaced the leather with veneer.

I would like to have it restored back to leather.

I have no idea where to start. Any ideas?

 

Re: Leather Top Card Table

From: Jim Cole

Comments:

Go to the page below to find where to get desk top leather.

http://www.antiquerestorers.com/LEATHER.htm

I suspect you will have to

remove the veneer so you can get back to the original

substrate in order to get a good bond for the leather.

A hot iron with a wet rag will loosen most veneer bond

and allow you to slid a putty knife under it to lift

the veneer then clean the substrate and apply the leather

with premixed vinyl wallpaper adhesive.

 


 

Antique Mirror & Frame Restoration

From: cipollassc@aol.com

Comments

Please advise if there are any resources to purchase

casts or moulds for replacing broken and missing pieces

on old plaster mirrors and frames. Must all repair work

have to be cast from an existing piece? Can any moulds

be had to cast and replace headers and ornamental pieces

on these mirrors/frames? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

 

Re: Antique Mirror & Frame Restoration

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Get the paintable rubber from a hobby shop and

make your mold with it follow the directions on

the can. Place finished mold in a sand box and

cast the replacemnt parts from plaster of paris

or epoxy and glue the in place. Small gaps can

be filled with dry patching compund and cut to

match with dental picks.

 


  

Rumble trunk

From: aparzych@hotmail.com

Comments

I have a trunk from a Model A or T car (i'm not sure which.)

A candle melted on it and it looks a little beat up.

I was wondering how I should go about cleaning it so

I won't damage it. Any advice or suggestions would be

appreciated. Thank you. Amy

 

Re: Rumble trunk

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Try using an ice cube to chill the wax then

scrape gently to remove.

 


 

resilvering mirrors

From: Mark Alley

Comments

Are there folks in the northeast Georgia Area who resilver

mirrors. I know how to clean the silver off and place a

thin mirror behind. I do not want to do that. I need to

know more about the resilvering process.

 

Re: resilvering mirrors

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Mark, try contacting your nearest Pittsburgh Plate

Glass dealer that is how I have found resilvers in the past.

 


Hoosier porcelain top

From: Tim Cass

Comments

I'm restoring a hoosier cabinet and the porcelain is in really bad

shape. How do I restore this? Paint is white on top with the navy

blue sides with speckled white. Suggestions wanted and appreciated.

 

Re: Hoosier porcelain top

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Tim, there are porcelain restorers who could probably

repair your top or you could try some of the epoxy repair

materials that are made for repairing porcelain tubs.

Other thatn that your only other options are to find a

top from a junker or paint the bad places in yours.

 


Re: Platform Rocker

From: KleinJ@eagle.cc.ukans.edu

Comments

Jim, Thanks for your help. Sorry, I can't post a picture. In fact,

I've been searching for pictures on Web. Know any sites where I might

find them? A restorer here agrees that top was probably padded headrest,

but claims it's difficult to upholster. Another question: He says dark

black color is aging, and that original stain was more natural for oak.

Would you recommend natural oak stain or darker, ebonized, mahogany look?

He thinks chair was made around 1890s. What stain colors were used then?

 

Re: Platform Rocker

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Since your restorer has seen the piece up close and personal I would

have to agree with him that the black is probably old finish that has

discolored and or collected dirt and grime. Furniture in that time was

generally dark in tone and lots of oak was fumed rather than stained.

 


Cleaning antique furniture

From: Kelly

Comments

Purchased an antique dresser and table. Need to

know how to clean surface without damaging.

 

Re: Cleaning antique furniture

From: George Utley

Comments

On anything except an 'honest to goodness' oil

finish I would suggest paint thinner. It won't

cut shellac, lacquer, varnish or (heaven forbid

it should be on an antique) polyurethane once

the finish has cured. It will remove dirt, oil

and grease, as well as most waxes. In my shop

I use Naptha, which is just a more refined paint

thinner with the added benefit of leaving no residue.

 


Graniteware and a 19th century well bucket

From: Kay

Comments

My husband was asked what he wanted from his

grandmother's estate. He wanted the old well

bucket and some graniteware. The graniteware

seems to be in pretty good condition except

that it is very dirty and some of the pieces

have slight chips that show a bit of rust on

the edges. The well bucket is in great shape

except that now that it is out of the well the

wood is drying out and the forged rings holding

it together are getting loose. Should I oil it

or treat it with PEG?

 

Re: Graniteware and a 19th century well bucket

From: George Utley

Comments

If by PEG you mean polyethelene glycol - that's

what I'd use. It penetrates just as well, and

isn't nearly as messy as linseed oil. It also

is not prone to spontaneous combustion as linseed

oil is. I'd apply a coat daily for a week to make

certain it absorbs as much as it can.

 

Re: Graniteware and a 19th century well bucket

From: George Utley

Comments

Almost forgot about the graniteware - there's

a china forum at this website that would probably

be able to answer your questions regarding care

and cleaning of those items...


Converting a 3/4 size bed to a twin

From: Allison Stevens

Comments

I have a 3/4 size bed I recently purchased that

I am trying to convert to a twin size. I have

figured out how to narrow the head & foot board but

the snag I keep running into is how to lengthen the

side rails without replacing them if thats possible.

They are made out of wood and have nice detail to

them I just need them to be 3" longer. Any suggestions

on how to do this would be greatly appreciated.

 

Re: Converting a 3/4 size bed to a twin

From: George

Comments

Many furniture stores and a good many

companies selling furniture repair/restoration

products sell bed rail extenders for a project

like yours. They are metal, but they do work well.

A bedspread that covers the rails will keep them out of sight.

 


Acetone Spot on Cherry Dresser

From: muradas@merck.com

Comments

How can I fix a two inch diameter acetone spot

on a contemporary cherry dresser top. The acetone

ate through some of the finishl.

 

Re: Acetone Spot on Cherry Dresser

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Seal the spot and then color with aritsts colors

to match up color and grain then build finish and

rub out to mathc luster.


 

antique ice cream parlor chairs with pressed wood seats

From: J.N.

Comments

I am looking for a supplier of pressed wood seats,

help!

 

Re: antique ice cream parlor chairs with pressed wood seats

From: George Utley

Comments

Haven't checked their latest catalog, but Van Dyke's

may have what you need. Go to vandykes.com and order

their catalog - it's free.

 


Questions on making glazes.......

From: Roadster Rick

Comments

I usually make a glaze out of paint thinner and

UTC. It works 90% of the time but what can be

added to the mixture to give it more body?

Star Chemical used to make a product called

Nu-Glaze, which was more heavy bodied than

the paint thinner/UTC mixture and perhaps they

 

Re: Questions on making glazes.......

From: George Utley

Comments

I use a 2:1 mix paint thinner and linseed oil for

glazes. I vary the open time by switching between

paint thinner (mineral spirits) and naptha, which

dries faster. I believe Nu-Glaze is still available.

Check the website woodfinishsupply.com. If you

don't see it listed, email them.


Wanted - English Letter Box

From: jriester@csi.com

Comments

I have what I believe to be an English letter box

from the early 1800's that I would like to have

repaired and restored. Could someone direct me to

a quality restorer? Thanks, Jack Riester

 

Re: Wanted - English Letter Box

From: George

Comments

You'll find a list of competent professionals

elsewhere on this website - feel free to browse.


resilvering mirrors

From: Mark Alley

Comments

Are there folks in the northeast Georgia Area who resilver

mirrors. I know how to clean the silver off and place a

thin mirror behind. I do not want to do that. I need to

know more about the resilvering process.

 

Re: resilvering mirrors

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Mark, try contacting your nearest Pittsburgh Plate

Glass dealer that is how I have found resilvers in the past.

 


 

Hoosier porcelain top

From: Tim Cass

Comments

I'm restoring a hoosier cabinet and the porcelain is

in really bad shape. How do I restore this? Paint is

white on top with the navy blue sides with speckled

white. Suggestions wanted and appreciated.

 

Re: Hoosier porcelain top

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Tim, there are porcelain restorers who could probably

repair your top or you could try some of the epoxy repair

materials that are made for repairing porcelain tubs.

Other thatn that your only other options are to find a

top from a junker or paint the bad places in yours.

 


 Smoke Damaged Antiques

From: ARIENNE101@aol.com

Comments

Recently there was a fire in the shop next door to

an antique shop and I am consitering buying an antique

desk. I would like to know if you have any recomendations

on cleaning the black sooty smoke damage. Thank you

for your ideas.

 

Re: Smoke Damaged Antiques

From: Jim Cole

Comments

You should be able to wash it off use mineral spirits

(paint thinner) followed with a mild soap and water

wash rinse and dry.

 

Re: Smoke Damaged Antiques

From: stephen@ilovewood.com

Comments

Use Moses T's Reviver to clean off surface residue, it will also help remove smoke damage.


 Mahogany Bookshelf

From:Christa

Comments

I've just purchased a mahogany bookshelf which

desperately needs a new finish and some hole and

scratch repair. Could someone please give me some

suggestions as to which finishes to use. I've

stripped and refinished furniture before, but

I'd like the wood to look light and natural.

Thanks for your time! And a fun note: the bookshelf has the original wooden casters!

 

Re: Mahogany Bookshelf

From: George

Comments

Stripping the piece will probably remove some

(if not all) the scratches. For the holes, a good

wood putty in natural. I'd suggest a varnish finish

(not polyurethane), especially if this piece is going

to see much use. Wipe down the raw wood with lacquer

thinner. If you like the color, finish without staining -

that's the color you'll get. If it's too dark, bleach

with Oxalic acid. Too light, pick your stain. After

the first coat of sealer, use artist's oil colors thinned

with paint thinner to 'touch up' the hole repairs - it's

easier to get a color match after the sealer is on, plus,

if it doesn't like just right, you can wipe it off with

paint thinner. Let dry and then finish completely.


 

French Polish Finishes

From: Graeme Truluck

Comments

I would like to know the right consistancy of bee's

wax to raw linseed oil to be used on a french polished

item

 

Re: French Polish Finishes

From: George

Comments

I may be well off base here and if so I welcome

correction, but I wouldn't put ANY raw linseed oil

on furniture, regardless of the finish - it takes

forever to dry. I would suggest either Trewax or

Briewax (both brand names). They're available from

many furniture stores and suppliers.

 


 

Painted metal bed

From: Katie

Comments

Any ideas on the best way to remove three or four

layers of paint from an old metal bed? Were these

originally painted or bare metal?

 

Re: Painted metal bed

From: George

Comments

Last question first. It's highly unlikely the piece

was bare metal. What you choose to do with it after

you clean it up is up to you. Any good paint and

varnish remover should do the trick, but with four

layers, it's going to take awhile. I suggest a semi

liquid like Strypeeze by Savogran - it clings to

vertical surfaces and makes stripping easier. Because

it is a paste type, it is slower than pure liquids, but

it's much easier to handle. Naval Jelly (available at

most hardware stores) can be used to remove any rust.

 


 WOOD BOWLS

From: ROGERS

Comments

I HAVE RECENTLY OBTAINED SOME OLD WOODEN BOWLS AND

WOULD LIKE TO "POLISH" THEM AND BRING SOME LIFE BACK.

THEY ARE VERY DRY. WHAT DO I USE?

 

Re: WOOD BOWLS

From: George

Comments

Chuck - imagine a very shallow bowl - this is close

to what the original seat looked like. You're right

about the tabs - that's where the seat was fastened.

Several good sources for restoration products are

vandykes.com and constantines.ocm. They both offer

catalogs of their complete line. If they don't have

what you need they can probably tell you who t contact.


 Fishing Creel

From: jkain4@aol.com

Comments

Hi, Can someone tell me how to restore a fishing creel.

It's leather is dry and I would like to use something

to recondition it. I don' t want to damage it nor effect

the stitching . Thanks! Jim

 

Re: Fishing Creel

From: jim cole

Comments

The leather should respond to Neets Foot oil which is

available in most hardware store. If you can't find it

one of the boot waterproofers should work.


cleaning antique black lacquer clock

From: sharon f.

Comments

i have an antique Waterbury clock and i want to clean it.

it has been in a barn and is covered with dirt! It is

black lacquer and i want to clean it without harming the

original finish. can anyone help me?

 

Re: cleaning antique black lacquer clock

From: Jim Cole

Comments

The clock can be cleaned using mild soap and water don't

soak it jus wipe with a damp rag rinse the same way and

dry. If the lacquer is dulled you can repolish it using

0000 steel wool followed with auto rubbing compound.

 

Re: cleaning antique black lacquer clock

From: akira yoshioka

Comments

Is it real lacquer or imitation, which was invented

in Europe??? It is big different to treat whick the

surface is.


 Refinishing Oak Swivel Desk Chair

From: melissalevy@msn.com

Comments

I have just purchased a wonderful old oak desk chair. It

is very sturdy and solid, with a swivel and spring

mechanism that works beautifully. The wood, though, needs

some work -- it is worn and scratched in places and I

believe it needs to be refinished. I have never attempted

such a project, and I'd like to try it myself. I need

some explicit instructions geared toward the novice. Any

suggestions?

Thanks, Melissa Levy


Re: Refinishing Oak Swivel Desk Chair

From: George

Comments

Melissa -Your best first bet is your local library. If

you don't have any luck there, go to either vandykes.com

or rockler.com on the web and order their catalogs, which

contain a number of books oriented around the various

aspects of refinishing. BTW - it's out of print now, but

if your library has a copy of "The Furniture Doctor" by

George Grotz - read it. Aside from the sage advice, it's

very humorous and fun to read.

 


Estey organ

From: Mike

Comments

I have a late 1800's "pump" organ made by the Estey Organ

company in Brattleboro, VT. It is in good condition but

the bellows (there are 3) are somewhat dry... they work

but can hear some craking sounds.... What are these made

of?... they seem to be some sort of cloth with a coating.

Is there a way to recondition them???? Any advice or

source of info would be helpful, thanks.

 

Re: Estey organ

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Mike, I believe the bellows are made of ruberized duck or

canvas. As far as I know there is now way to restore them

they will have to be replaced. Try VanDykes @ VanDykes.com

they may have replacements.

 

Re: Estey organ

From: MIKE

Comments

Jim,

The bellows in my organ are not currently cracked or

leaking... they are just dried out. I am afraid that

if used they will crack and break (and then need replaced).

I am just wondering if there is something I can put on

them to soften and/or moisturize them.... Any suggestions??

??

 


 

Steamer Trunk Drawers

From: Dorothy Stone

Comments

I have an older Hartmann man's steamer trunk. (The kind

that stands upright and opens in two parts, the left for

hanging garments and the right for drawer storage.) The

problem is that there must have been water damage at some

point and the fabric-covered drawers are pretty filthy.

There is some mildew that goes down to the wood, I did

remove some of the linen-like fabric on the back of one

of the drawers. Plus there is a terribly musty smell...

I hate to remove the fabric from the drawers because I

like to leave older things as undisturbed as possible,

but I feel that I will never be able to clean it. What

is the best way to remove it? I think the trunk dates to

the 20s/30s, so was hide glue probably used? Also, if I

do manage to remove the fabric, what would be the best

way to finish the wood? Any advice would be much appreciated!

 

Re: Steamer Trunk Drawers

From: JIm Cole

Comments

Dorothy sounds like you are going to have to remve the

material to get rid of the mold a 50/50 mix of household

bleach and water followed by a thorough rinse and dry

should kill it. The material was probably put on with a

wallpaper type paste and the trunk may well have be

assembled using hyde cement so be careful not to let

water seep into the joins as hyde is water soluble.

It's a good idea to clamp the drawers togeter for 24

hrs to give the glue time to treset just in case. Given

the odor problem I would finis the wood with a couple of

good coats of shellac and gthne topcoat with lacquer.


Granmother's Duncan Phyfe Dining Room Furniture

From: Jean

Comments

My husband's grandmother recently passed away and we

inherited her Dining Room furniture. The pieces, which

include a table, china cabinet and buffet, were most

likely purchased in the late 1920s. The table and buffet

have a build up of possibly dirt, grease and/or Pledge

furniture polish. Needless to say, the pieces are about

80% to 90% covered with this dark build up. I need a way

to clean it off without ruining the old finish as well

as a way to preserve the table so that the memories will

be cherished for our son.

 

Re: Granmother's Duncan Phyfe Dining Room Furniture

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Try coap and water wash without soaking it and rinse and

dry immediately. Since this set is probably veneered be

careful no to wet the veneer any more than you have too.

Try this in an area that is not highly visible. I f that

doesn't clean it try mineral spirits and 0000 steel wool

rubbed lightly and dried with paper towel. To protect the

furniture paste wax with Johnson's, Treewax, Staples or

another quality wax. It will give a nice glow preserve

the finish.


 Antique Tiger Oak Veneer Table

From: Bret

Comments

I have an antique tiger oak veneer table that has some damage

to the vaneer. Can this be repaired? Where would I go to find tiger oak veneer to match?

 

Re: Antique Tiger Oak Veneer Table

From: Jim Cole

Comments

The veneer can be repaired by beveling the edges around the missing

spots a gluing down a patch that matches the graing pattern then leveling

the repair and finishing to match. Van Dykes @ VanDykes.com whould have replacement veneer.


 Antique Trunk

From: Sherry

Comments

I have just purchased an antique trunk at an estate sale.

The trunk dates back to at least 1914 and most likely

earlier than that. I am wondering how to go about

"cleaning" it up some. I don't want to destroy any part

of it. The outside is covered in what appears to be canvas

(I think - looks a little like burlap), wood, and metal

fittings (corners, latches, etc.). The handles and some

other parts are of leather. How can I clean the canvas,

wood and metal and not destroy it? The inside is in fairly

good shape. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. I

only paid $20 for it (I think I got a great deal). Thank

you for any help you can give me. Please email at the

address below or post here.

Sherry (E-mail - yanch@escape.ca)

 

Re: Antique Trunk

From: Jim Cole

Comments

I would try washing the trunk with mild soap and water

don't soak it just use a damp rag and rinse the same way.

Most of the old trunks a covered in a lightweight canvas

and then varnished and will stand washing. The metal part

usually are varnished to so they are harder to clean when

corrusion gets under the varnish they have to be stripped

without getting stripper on the canvas and wood then

polished and painted usually black.


 Chair Braces "S" Style

From: Jeff

Comments

Looking for a source for these braces used on chairs. The

brace fits into a hole in the seat frame and is screwed

into the back legs. There's lots of the "C" style still

available for sale but these are unsuitable. Can anyone

point me in a direction.

 

Re: Chair Braces "S" Style

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Jeff, I don't have a source for the "S"braces either. I

make them when I need them the round ones are not to bad

but the flat sytle is a real bear. I f you find a source

pleas post it here.

 

Re: Chair Braces "S" Style

From: Jeff

Comments

Jim: Could you explain how you made them? I've tried

steam bending dowell rod(maple and oak) and green wood

(maple). All I get is splintering, the wood doesn't seem

to be able to handle the small radius. This is why I'm

looking for ready mades.

 

Re: Chair Braces "S" Style

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Jeff, I steam bend them by soaking an appropriate size

dowel in water for several day ann having a form arready

made up to place it in when I take it out of the steamer.

On some pieces you can runa steel strap around the outside

as you bend it to keep it from splintering leave it on

until the wood has dried. They can also be made with

green wood split and shaved round them steamed before

bending.


 Wood trim/molding/beading

From: Benton Ham, The Hitching Post, Raleigh, NC

Comments

I'm looking for a vendor or source for narrow wood

trim (molding, beading). Width about 1/4", various

patterns. Used for decorative trim around the perimeters

of table tops, aprons, drawers, etc. etc. Van Dykes has

some, but all their selection is too wide. Thank you. -

Benton -

 

Re: Wood trim/molding/beading

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Try Woodworkers Supply in Gaham They cary some premade

trim.


reamalgamation of polyurethane finish

From: Dan Stevens

Comments

I am refinishing a breakfront and some of the polyurethane

has formed drips on the piece. Can I reamalgamate the poly

with denatured alcohol to smooth out the finish? I have

used the poly on the frame around the breakfront doors but

have used shellac on the rest of the breakfront.

 

Re: reamalgamation of polyurethane finish

From: Jim Cole

Comments

Dan in a word NO. That's one of the problems with poly

once it has set up you can't do much of anything with it.

Sounds like you will have to and it level and try to

repolish it or recoat it.

 


From: John C July 29

Comments

I recently came across a china cabinet that has a tag on the

back that says: No:405 Rockford Republic Furniture Rockford,

IL I was wondering if the company still exists, and if you

might know how i could find out more info on this piece. Thank You.

 

From: George

Comments

John: The only furniture Company I know of in Rockford is

the ELLO Furniture Manufacturing Company, 1350 Preston

Street, Rockford, IL 61102. If they are not a descendant

of the company you want, they may have information concerning them. (815) 964-8601

 

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