Monday, February 27, 2012

A Pie Crust Table, All Dressed Up.

Now this is a great 'before and after!  This two tier 'pie crust' table looked pretty bad before it came to us, and now it looks gorgeous!  Absolutely gorgeous.

When the table came to us it had a dull, uneven, damaged finish.  It had water damage, and on the top there was a ring where a doily had sat for years shading that area.  The shaded area stayed a little darker then the rest.  All in all, it was in pretty bad shape and came to the right place.   

 We stripped the old ugly finish off and prepped the piece for a new life.  In was sanded with 120 and 180 grit sandpaper.  Then our client came back in and we worked with her to find just the right stain color.  The stain color we came up with is 1/2 Teak, 1/2 Brown cherry, with a Gloss finish over top.  This gives a definite red appearance but the brown tones it down a bit.  The grain really pops now whereas before, you could hardly see the wood grain through the damaged finish.  The table legs also got a glaze treatment to bring out the details on the carving.

Our client was thrilled when she saw the table and has decided to bring us some of her bedroom set.  We like that kind of complement!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Antique Mirror Frame Gets A New Life

 This lovely old mirror frame has quite a history.  Our customer told us a story of growing up on a farm in the mid-west 75 years ago.  This mirror hung on the back porch where the field hands would come in for their lunch break.  Before they went inside
 to eat they would wash their face and hands and then check their appearance in this mirror.  It is hard to imagine such a lovely mirror hanging on the outside porch, but apparently it was already old at the time so the new 'nice' mirrors were inside!

When we took over the care of this mirror, there were little bits of decoration missing all over the frame.   Petals had disappeared and banding was broken off.      We began our work by filling in those missing pieces with a putty like material.  Once the material hardened, our craftsman carved it to match the rest of the frame.

The final step in the process was to hand paint all of the new areas so that the repairs disappeared.  This is work for an artist, and fortunately, we have an artist here at the shop.  He was able to disguise the repaired areas,  but still retain the old worn appearance of the frame.   The original glass mirror was then put back into its frame, and our customer came and picked it up.  She was delighted with the work.   That makes us just so happy.  The frame she grew up with was back in good repair,  looking beautiful, but still had evidence of the many years it had graced her home.  We call that a successful job.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Drum Table That Got Some Luvin'

 This Duncan-Phyfe drum style table came to us as part of a large collection.   This table has a unique rotating base and false drawers.  We see a lot of Duncan-Phyfe, but this is the first time we have seen this feature.  The table's owner had just inherited her mother's estate and the furniture was all high quality, but badly in need of  some restoration.  We have done our best to bring her pieces back to life.

We started out by stripping the old worn out finish off of the piece.  The old leather top had stiffened and the gilding had turned to black.  We knew we would be replacing it, so we weren't worried about it during the stripping.    When we replace leather, each piece is cut to order, so our client gets to choose the color and the gilding pattern.  It then arrives at our shop already in the basic shape, with the gilding exactly the right size. This particular leather is called 'Oxblood' and has two different gilding patters around the edge.  Prior to attaching the leather, our craftsmen have to treat the wood surface to ensure that it is perfectly smooth.  We can then glue the leather on, and trim any excess.

The finished result of the new leather and the beautiful new water based stain and finish is just gorgeous.  The stain on this table is custom 1/2 Teak 1/2 Brown Cherry with a Gloss sheen finish over top.  The wood grain on the false drawers and around the leather really pops with this treatment.   With this restoration that we have done,  our client should be able to enjoy her furniture for many many years, and pass them along so that someone else can inherit them one day.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Custom Color Choice for a Gorgeous Chair

 It is rare that we get to put pictures up on our site of a chair that has not only had a beautiful new finish put on, but also has the upholstery done.  This is a special case though, as one of the upholsterers we work with in the area needed to bring the chair back to have casters put on.  Which means we got a chance to snap a pic!

This is such a unique chair design with it's shell shaped back and curlicue accents.  The chair only required minor repairs before the refinishing work was done.  A few joints had come loose which we needed to glue back together.  

When it came time to choose a stain, our client had a very specific look they were going for.  To achieve that look, we mixed up a custom color for them using 2 parts 'natural' stain and 1 part 'brown cherry' stain.   Then we applied a satin sheen finish over the top.  The custom color looks just right with the fabric they chose.  While this wasn't the most complex or unusual job we have ever done, we are so happy to be able to help our clients restore their beloved pieces such as this.  It is also pretty satisfying to know that we were able to help them create a specific look that they wanted for their home.

Any time a client has a piece of furniture refinished here at our shop we have them come in for a color constultation once all the striping, repairs and prep work are done.  This way each client gets to see exactly how the stain colors will look on their wood.  We will show them as many different colors and combination of colors that they need, so that they can make the best decision for their furniture.  This extra consultation step is something that we pride ourselves in,  the extra effort to make sure each of our clients is perfectly happy with their furniture.