An American in Wexford, Antiques, Decor & Design, Furniture, Ireland, Tutorials and Information

The Art of Furniture Restoration

As you know we are in Ireland. John is redesigning bits of antique furniture for use in a more modern and smaller home than the large mini-mansions that once housed these huge pieces. I showed you the old Rocco elaborate dresser piece the other day. He removed two pieces from a similar dresser. John is going to make wall units with them for sale but he will have to go through a long tedious process to restore them. He basically follows a 12 step program with each piece.
This is how the furniture piece looked when he started

He cleaned, removed parts for special cleaning, took out and cleaned the mirrors. You can’t tell at first glance, but there are small mirrors in the center of the units.

Cleaning is a multi-step process. After dusting, he washes it with mild soap and water, then he cleans it off with mineral spirits. Next step is to see if the old finish has held up. Most likely we will have to sand old finish off in places and apply a new finish. This process would take a couple of days to complete. Then, He must mix old stains to find the right color. Depending on the size of the piece, he might have to take the piece completely down to bare wood, apply wood grain filler, repair part, etc.
So far he has had to do some minor restaining of these pieces, but major cleaning and some restoration of drawers. It took four days to get them to the point where he can do the final refinishing.

Where we are now

He has yet to put the mirrors back in and refinish the piece with final stain and finish

I’ll show them to you once he gets done. I thought the two cabinets might be used on a wall near the doorway..for keys and mail. Anyone have any other ideas?

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