Refinishing wood furniture is both fun and rewarding.
You can get a tremendous sense of satisfaction when you transform
a tired, old table, chair or dresser into a beautiful treasure.
Searching for just the right project can also be an exciting adventure.
Following are some tips to help make your treasure hunt successful.
Before you start your hunt....... Whether you're shopping at neighborhood
garage sales or high-end antique stores, it's important to do your
homework first. Negotiating price is acceptable and even expected
in many places. The more you know about furniture, the more likely
you are to get the most for your money. Many factors affect the
value of furniture, especially antiques. Some people make careers
of antique appraising and many, many books have been written on
the topic. But even knowing a few details to look for can help you
make better decisions:
- Begin by looking at the general condition of the piece. Have
any repairs been done? Are any needed? What is the patina like?
- Original hardware adds to the value of a piece. Look at the
drawer's pulls, screws, nails and hinges.
- Dovetails are a type of joint that was commonly used to join
together the sides and bottom of a drawer. Generally speaking,
older furniture has fewer and larger dovetail joints than newer
furniture. The advent of machines made it possible for craftsmen
to more easily make dovetails.
- Designs created from inlaid wood veneers are called marquetry.
Sometimes marquetry includes other materials such as ivory, tortoiseshell,
mother-of-pearl, and brass. Look to see that the marquetry is
original and in good condition.
For further information, it's a good idea to visit your local book
store or library. A wealth of information can be found on furniture
styles. Become familiar with the details of both style and craftsmanship.
There are also price guides available that give an idea of the value
of different antiques. Remember, they're only guides. Actual pricing
will vary depending on many factors, including the condition of
the piece, the region of the country and the seller's desire to
A piece of furniture can be a welcome addition to your home whether
or not it's an authentic antique. Perhaps you've found a painted
end-table that will be perfect for your hallway. If the price is
right, go ahead and buy it, but before you do check its condition.
Many problems can be repaired, but if the damage is too great, skip
this item and look for another. Be certain to check for cracks,
loose joints, lifted veneer, warping, and uneven legs. Also, carefully
examine any existing repairs. Make sure that they were properly
done and not a sign of trouble to come.