Plan the Work
This chair, valued at $200. is hardly rare or unusual. Hundreds like it are sitting in attics await ing restoration
Why get into furniture restoration? One reason is that there probably is no greater feeling of satisfaction than the one you get when you bring that newly restored chair to its place of honor in the living room.
You put it in exactly the right place, stand back — and feel good. A few months ago, that chair was battered and bruised, an embarrassement on its way to the trash collector. You thought about replacing it, but a little shopping showed that the price of a new chair of the same quality was steep — a lot steeper than you anticipated. In addition, you had a deep attachment for that old chair. After all, it had shared many years with you.
So you set out to restore it. Now the task is finished and the chair positively glows. You experience the warm feeling that comes from a job well done. You also saved a fair amount of money, which adds to your satisfaction.
Furniture restoration is rewarding in a lot of ways. You can upgrade the appearance of your home by restoring several pieces that now look dowdy. You enjoy gaining a new skill and feel real pride in your work.
One of the best rewards is that you end up with a much better collection of furniture in your home. Good furniture is hard to find today. Furniture making has undergone a number of important changes in the last several decades, as good hardwoods have become harder to get. Wood carving has virtually disappeared, and in its place are molded designs, often plastic, glued to flat surfaces. Hand rubbing and other marks of the fine furniture craftsmen have disappeared because of cost and fewer craftsmen to do this work.
This handcarved oak blanket chest is an example of Early American furniture that still has its natural New materials have come into 1 urniture finish Such a piece only should be cleaned making. Plastic laminates, plastic bonded
This valuable French chest is a good example of the kind of antique whose repair should be reserved for experts. It is worth several thousand dollars.
Look for these Roman numerals stamped into the drawer and the chest when you shop for good antique furniture You don't see this notation on less valuable pieces to poorer grades of wood to simulate fine woods, particle board finished to look like wood — the list is long. Some of these new materials offer advantages, of course. Plastic laminates for example, make table tops that resist almost any onslaught. But overall, you receive less for your furniture dollar today, at least in traditional furniture terms.
There are other rewarding aspects, too: the sense of history that comes with salvaging an old family heirloom, or in building a collection of restored furniture belonging to a specific period.
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