Restoration of Antique Furniture and Other Good Information
Presented by Teri Masaschi
Albuquerque Woodworkers Association
Conservation – the prevention of further deterioration of an object
Restoration – stripping and refinishing of an object for beauty and utility, not resale
Antique Dealers – quasi-refinishers/restorers by necessity of for-resale objects
Stripping – dirty, necessary, cleaning, repairing, sanding and refinishing,
using either Cold: Methylene Chloride or Hot: Caustic Soda methods
Hand Stripping – Clean Strip Remover or Clean Cutter
Using: Methylene Chloride, or Citrus Strip (for paint).
Secret to Successful Refinishing (and life):
Choose what you can do well and make money doing!
Sand blasting – great for concrete, OK for metal or pine door etching, questionable for antiques.
Wood bleach – great for iron spot and stain removal; start gently with oxalic acid, then advance to household bleach (chlorine based, hypochlorous acid) good for lightening analine dye.
Cane seating – watch-out for necessary structural repairs. Stain cane with Jet Sprays.
It’s a good idea to coat the cane with shellac or varnish to stabilize from moisture effects.
Use one-half pound shellac buttons dissolved in 1 quart of denatured alcohol for sealing cane.
Secret to Staining: Layer the colors!
Adhesive – use reversable glues: Franklin Hyde Glue in case future repair is necessary. Or the traditional method of hyde glue granuels and a glue pot.
Just don’t expect the glue to be suitable for outside or damp (basement) use!
Secret to Preserving Value: Don’t use Epoxies on Antiques!
Polyurethane glue foams as part of the cure. It has very little gap-filling capabilities!
Chair Lock – fills loose joints by swelling wood, don’t expect a permanent fix!
Secret to antique furniture repair:
Buy old wood to use for patching, whenever you can!
Use de-waxer to clean old pieces and Varthane Gel Stain Medium to touch-up piece, looking for underlying colors.
Make a glazing stain from: japan color, mineral spirits, linseed oil mixed to gravy consistency. Or buy ready-made glazing stain such as Behlen’s.
Jells have a lot of oil in with the polyurethane & have poor water resistance.
More Finishing Secrets:
Shellacs are not compatible with polyurethanes; but are OK in combination with varnish or Danish oil finishes, as long as they are de-waxed.
When you replace wood in a repair, use the same wood, with the long grain, fit the piece at a slight angle and it’s almost impossible to detect Teri’s patch.
Your patch is another matter, however!
Drill-out a dowel with a slightly smaller drill that the dowel size.
To preserve an old finish; Clean and paste wax it.
Use Fill Sticks for small holes – lots of colors to choose from.
Use Pore-o-Pac for grain filling.
Remember, the goal is to all become antiques!