An antique chair repaired
As an obsessive ‘upcycler’ of old furniture, Wendy Craig took to task the repair of an antique chair that was left to rot away in her garage. If you are interested you can see more on her blog www.lagulhas.blogspot.com.
This gorgeous chair with its hand carved panel of St George slaying the dragon had been relegated to the garage, where it was providing food for various wood munching insects!
Before letting it into my workroom I treated it thoroughly to make sure all wildlife nestling inside had passed on. When I started handling the chair all the joints came apart, so while it was in pieces I cleaned all the bits thoroughly with fine steel wool and a small, soft bristle brush to get rid of years of accumulated dust and dirt especially in the hand carved panels.
A generous coating of wood oil was applied, which was soaked up like a sponge but gave an inkling of just how good it would look once finished. The client had specified that she did not want the wood stripped back and I agreed that it would spoil its appearance to have it too raw and new-looking, so instead of using a varnish, I applied another coating of furniture oil. The joints were then repaired, cotton wadding tacked onto the seat and a smart new navy leather covering with antique studs brought a magnificent chair back to heirloom status!
Janice: Another way to clean up a an old piece is to use mineral turpentine and steel wool, and an old toothbrush is perfect for getting into those small detailed areas.