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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Dry Unfinished Drawer Panels and Dresser Backs

Posted By: Jane <pihwht@sbcglobal.net> (adsl-67-65-58-13.dsl.ksc2mo.swbell.net)
Date: 5/20/5 08:57

I have bleached, rinsed, and sunned the drawers (some pretty badly mildewed) to a five-drawer maple chest of drawers stained mahogany, a mirrored walnut dresser, and a walnut chest with peg and crescent (Knapp) joints in the large drawers. So far, so good; the mildew smell is gone and the wood is dry. But the unfinished drawer panels, as well as the back and bottom panels of the pieces seem awfully dry, almost to the point of brittleness. These pieces sat in a deteriorating Wisconsin farmhouse which has been unheated for at least 30 years. As a newbie to antiques, I am unsure what to do about these dry panels: Should I just let our humid Kansas City summer take care of the job (not a good idea, it seems to me), or something else? How about a linseed oil-turpentine swabbing? Or would that cause warping and sticking?

I have browsed through about 3/4 of the postings and have not seen this particular problem addressed. Perhaps I missed it. Any advice you have would be welcome, as these pieces are family heritage and will pass on to my son.

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