Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Refinished Gate Leg Table

 This is a really cool table, but when it came in to the shop,  it's unique qualities were overshadowed by the damaged old finish.  As you can see, the table top had quite a bit of water damage and in some places was getting flakey.   There were areas where the wood grain was barely visible through the finish.

We stripped the table with our high tech water based finishing system and it came out so well, that there was really no additional work needed to fix the water damage.  We did however need to do quite a bit of work on the base. It has a swiveling 'gate leg' which allows the table to open up into a square.  This wooden mechanism needed work as well.
The gate leg feature is what makes this table really unique.  This table can be used against a wall, or behind a couch, but then can open up for more table surface.  It is almost like a drop leaf, but when it is closed, you would never notice it's special talent.

The stain on this table is our darkest shade, called 'Jacobean'  It is almost black and you have to look closely to see the wood grain.  The dark finish gives this table a very formal/modern vibe, but if you are wanting to see the grain easily, then it is not the stain for you.  Over the stain there is a 'Semi Gloss' sheen finish, which adds to the formality of the table.

Now all this table needs is it's new set of shiny casters and it is ready for display!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Restoring an Old Front Door

We strip a lot of woodwork and doors here at our shop, but it is much less often that we get to complete the job and have a beautiful finished door to show you.  So I am excited to have this lovely piece to put up on the blog for you.   As you can see from the pictures, it came in to the shop painted blue!  This isn't really a problem for us though since we have the tools, the chemicals and the know how to get that blue paint off the door, and out of all those little crevices.

We then did our 'prep' sanding which is a two step process we have come up with .  With our two step sanding we have found that we get a really smooth wood, that still takes color very well.  

The door is stained with a special exterior quality water based product.  The stain color is a combination of 2 parts 'Coffee Bean' and 1 part 'Cedar'.  It is a really beautiful deep reddish brown.  Over that stain we have applied a water based, exterior quality finish in 'Satin'.   The result is a really beautiful, classy looking door that will stand the test of time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

'Pie Crust' Tilt-Top Table

 We just completed work on this beautiful Mahogany 'Pie Crust' table and I thought I would share it with you all.

When it came to us it had a broken leg and very bad water damage on the top surface.  There are two kinds of water 'rings' we see.  The first is a white ring, usually from leaving a cup on your wood surface.  A white ring is much more easily fixable because the damage is still in the finish.  Check out this blog post for more info on fixing white water rings.

Black water damage is much more difficult to fix because the damage has gone through the finish and into the wood.  The minerals in the water turn the wood black.  To fix damage such as this, we have to strip the finish off completely.  In the photo to the left we have stripped off the finish and can now deal with the black rings.  As you can see they are diminished, but not gone.  Sometimes we have to then use an Oxcalic Acid to bleach out the stains,  and sometimes they can be removed simply by sanding the wood.  We never know though until that finish is off.

 As you can see, the stain is gone!  We can now prep the wood for finishing.  At this point, our client can come in and see stain colors applied directly to their furniture.  This way they can actually see what their piece will look like, instead of trying to guess from a hand full of stain swatches.  We also had to do some repairs to the table leg before any staining began.
For this Mahogany table our client chose a Cognac stain color with a Gloss sheen finish over the top.  The color choice really looks beautiful on this wood.  To enhance all the beautiful little carved details we highlighted the pie-crust edge and the legs with a layer of Black Mahogany Glaze.   As you can see from the photos below, the highlighting was just enough to push this table from beautiful, to show stopper!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Two Of A Kind Louis XV Desks

There are some styles that come through our shop  that come in so often that become quite familiar.  We see quite a bit of Duncan Phyfe tables with broken legs.  We see lots of Oak Pressback Chairs with loose joints or broken spindles, and frequently we have brewer chairs come to us with big holes in the seat.
What is quite Uncommon is for a beautiful Louis XV writting desk to come in, and then before it leaves to have another Louis XV writting desk to come in.  But that is just what has happened.  They have their differences,  one has straight sides while the other has curved sides,  but they both have intricate marquetry, Cabriole legs and brass decor on the corners and drawers, and they both have three drawers on the front and 3 faux drawers on the opposite side.

Not only are these desks clearly made in the same era,  but we are also doing very similar repairs on each one.  They both will have new leather applied to their writing surface.  (Each customer get to choose the color of leather and the gold tooling design around the edge.)  We are also doing repairs to the veneered wood band around the leather on the top surface of each of the desks, and both desks will have their bases refurbished.  The refurbishing will not make them look brand new, but will instead give them new life, while preserving their old antique finish.

Be sure to check back soon, so that you can see the 'after' pictures of these Louis XV writing desks.