Whether Or Not to Refinish Antique Furniture
Sometimes when you least expect it, you are swept off your feet with the magical charm that only an antique piece of furniture can have. In visiting a second hand store in search of picture frames, you run across an item that seems to speak your name. Not really needing another piece of furniture or knowing what you will do with it, something tells you that this piece belongs in your home.
It is a table, short and oblong with straight legs and a drawer directly below the skirt. Not knowing anything about antiques, you wonder what it is and why you had such an attraction to this piece. The table is not that attractive, rather plain with gouges in the top almost as if it had been beat on with tools. No matter, it will look great in your hallway once cleaned up and holding a fresh spray of flowers.
A fresh coat of paint in black or light tan perhaps, will liven up this old, tired piece of furniture. Upon further inspection, you notice that your table does not appear to have any nails anywhere. Odd, you think, however does it ever hold together? But it seems very sturdy regardless of the excessive scarring. You still cannot get over the feeling of joy that this piece brings to you. Strange.
Calling on a friend that has a retail furniture store, you discover that your little table that you are so proud of is a very old shaker table that was used in kitchens in the early 1800s. What should you do now? You had no idea that you had purchased such an exquisite antique that has charm and history. In addition, you have a collectors item that has to be treasured. One thing is for sure, painting it definitely out.
If it was a piece made in the 1900s or a reproduction, sanding, staining and applying a couple coats of finish could do wonders for bringing out the luster of the wood. A light oak finish compliments shaker very well. Shaker furniture is very easy to care for once finished with its straight lines and beautiful running grain. You decide to call an antique refinisher and get a professional opinion.
A piece of antique furniture can be anything over fifty years old but also be over two hundred years old. Before grabbing the sander, get an opinion from someone in the antique refinishing field. There are many excellent antiques out there that just need a little fixing and touching up but having a piece of history is quite different. It could just change your mind about painting or refinishing that table you fell in love with.