So often, folks are appalled when others update vintage or antique furniture using paint. It’s easy for them to blame us for “ruining” a piece, however they often don’t stop to consider that perhaps someone else ruined it already and we are just reviving a well-built piece so it can be recycled and enjoyed.
If folks collectively took such great care of their furniture, then we wouldn’t end up with things like the following:
Discolored or Water-Stained Wood
Sometimes it’s the old linseed oil finish aging gracelessly; sometimes it’s sun bleaching or water leaching; sometimes it’s crusty, fragile shellac. Any way you look at it, it’s not pretty.
Surprisingly easier to fix than you may think – if painting. However, it’s an enormous endeavor if you hope to patch with matching veneer and stain. Most of these pieces aren’t going to be worth the time and effort of replacing with stain-quality veneer, so the choice is often to cut, patch and paint in order to keep it’s life going!
Chips and Gouges
Paint Splatters and Mishaps
Oh the stories some of these pieces could tell!
Cigars or cigarettes left on the edge of a table “just for a minute” only to burn down to a nub when forgotten; ashtrays that spill their flaming contents; and don’t forget the occasional candle left seriously unattended….
(AKA Droppings & Mildew)
Don’t get me wrong – barns are great places to find buried treasure – you just need to be prepared for some serious cleaning….and then some more. Think sparrows, bats, cats, moist hay, rodents….but don’t think too hard about it or you may miss a real gem.
So, why did I paint that piece?!
Revive. Refresh. Restore. It’s all about Sustainability.
Because Reviving beauty doesn’t always mean bringing it back to original condition;
Because Refreshing is restoring strength to piece of furniture;
Because Restoring function is what keeps a well-made piece in circulation and out of the landfill.
We would LOVE for you to share pictures here of some of your most desperate-looking diamonds in the ROUGH!
All of the products to complete these projects are available at our Online Shop, at our Rochester, NY location Lakeside Restoration 1833 Monroe Ave 14618 and our Sodus, NY location 7060 Ridge Road 14551
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Explore other posts in our blog for more transformations and tips – and don’t forget to venture into the second page of oldie but goodie posts!
Have you ever looked at a piece with great bones, only to find rippled or missing veneer and decided it’s not salvageable? This is a common problem that often lands otherwise beautiful furniture in the landfill, but it doesn’t have to! Repairing veneer damage on a solid piece is entirely possible with a little bit of prep work, a few tools, and some elbow grease.
These great dressers provide good examples of repairable veneer damage that almost left them both homeless.
Wood veneer is quite common on vintage furniture; but what is it? Wood veneer is a thin slice of real wood – often from a rare or otherwise expensive cut of wood with striking grain or coloration. This is applied over a strong base of a solid, often less attractive species of wood that creates the structure of the furniture. The wood veneer basically dresses up the structural bones of your furniture.
Below, you can see wood veneer that has been damaged over the years from moisture which has loosened it from it’s base and caused warping or rippling in the delicate wood covering. But all is not lost! There are some beautiful, salvageable veneers on these dressers and the bones are healthy and solid!
Sometimes, a slightly lifted veneer layer can be re-adhered to the base with wood glue and a syringe; however this damage was beyond repair, so it needed to be removed: remember, there is a solid wood base under that thin damaged layer, so removing veneer will not harm the structural integrity of the furniture.
Since it is thin, wood veneer can be carefully scored with a razor to remove only the damaged portion (above). Next, a putty knife can be used to gently separate and lift the damaged wood from the base (below).
You definitely want to use gloves and safety glasses for this step to prevent splinters!
The area is then leveled up with wood filler and sanded smooth.
Once it’s smooth, the surface is ready for a finish coat. I have not found a filler that takes stain well, so I plan on painting the patched areas.
We decided Fusion’s Midnight Blue was a good choice for these dressers as it would show off the wood and vintage handles well. The exposed wood was cleaned with TSP Alternative and Mineral Spirits before being rejuvenated with Hemp Oil.
And there you have it – salvaging gorgeous pieces by simply investing some time to remove and repair damaged veneer!
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All of the refinishing products, many of the furniture pieces and other items you see here can be purchased through our Online Store
If you are local to Rochester, NY – stop into our brick and mortar shops at Lakeside Restoration 1833 Monroe Ave 14618 or Vintage Matters 7060 Ridge Rd Sodus 14551
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I just started working on a commissioned desk and found I was ridiculously excited about it! Folks are heading back to school, back to college, furnishing new offices…It is desk-season, after all! So, I couldn’t help but take a little stroll down my memory lane of desk projects.
I have a soft spot for a good desk; always have.
After all, I have spent many, many years behind a desk studying, reading, writing, working… and now, refinishing and reinventing them! Did I mention – I really love a good desk!
What did I ask for when I turned 18? You guessed it; a good desk! One to get me through college, graduate school & beyond…of course I still have it – it’s a good desk! We have at least 7 desks currently active at home…
After I refinished the desk below, my daughter announced she wanted it for her room. A proud Momma moment if I’ve ever had one! It’s a Beaut! And, of course, she has it in her room.
Big desks, little desks, white desks, black desks, smooth desks, distressed desks, writing desks, executive desks, secretary desks, children’s desks, even coastal desks!!
This is just a small sampling and doesn’t include some really bizarre, historic, and unique desks yet to be chronicled!
Do you have a favorite type of furniture to hoard…ahem, Collect? Refinish?
Is it Desks?!
Even if it isn’t desks, I’d love to hear and see what your favorite flavor of furniture is for collecting or restoring!
Also, please let us know if you’d like to know more about any of these pieces and the process that went into finishing them for future blog posts!
We have been so busy in 2019 that this blog has been sorely neglected. We have finally fixed older blog posts that were corrupted by software updates, and we will get to work trying to stay more current. The posts have evolved from a time when I was refinishing and selling in my home, to the current day when we have two retail locations to maintain and a building to care for. Not a whole lot of furniture rehab has been happening, but I’m hoping that tide is turning. It’s ironic for me to see here that there are no posts related to our large co-op, Vintage Matters in Sodus (where most of our time has been spent this year!); I hope to rectify that situation and highlight some of the awesome creativity and talent that has been congregating in that space.
I hope you take the opportunity to review old posts or check them out for the first time. I had fun reviewing them for repair – it’s nice to see some of the cool projects we may have forgotten about in the day to day hustle. Also, please let me know some topics you would like to see on our blog. I’m open to suggestions and would love to hear what you are looking for!
You can visit our Facebook page for tips and information about refinishing furniture http://www.lakesiderestoration.net
You can visit our online store at http://www.lakeside-restoration.myshopify.com