Jacquelyn Parks. Furniture. September 08th , 2017.
Fitting functional needs. Store-bought furniture can’t always do what you need to be done. Example, you do a lot of desk work and have one particular corner to accommodate desk, computer, supplies, etc. You may be lucky if you find sturdy ready-made pieces that will fit that corner and your work requirements get fulfilled.
Finding suitable replacement materials for inlay and boulle antiques is an even greater problem. They tend to use more complex and varied materials. Antique and second-hand shops often have boxes containing suitable oddments and it is worth searching through them to find matching pieces. As a last resort, missing pieces of inlay can be built up with synthetic resins or wax, coloured to match. If boulle has lifted seriously or is bent, leave the repair to an expert restorer; but if the lifting is only slight, carefully remove the section and scrape clean all the dirt. Stick with an epoxy resin adhesive and weight it down until the glue has dried.
Yet, popular as it is, rattan garden furniture is by no means the only type of outdoor furniture available on the market. On the contrary, there are a number of different materials for outdoor furniture, both natural and synthetic, which may be good alternatives to rattan for home-owners less fond of this material. This article goes over a few of the most common.
Wood veneers can be difficult to match. It is possible to buy new veneer strips, but they are generally thinner than the old hand-sawn veneers and do not always match in colour. It often pays to go to an auction to look for a broken oddment of furniture that has suitable veneers. To remove a veneer from its backing, first clean off any old polish with white spirit and carefully clean the varnish or wax. Place a damp cloth over the cleaned strip and press with a fairly hot iron. Keep the cloth damp. This melts the Scotch glue holding down the veneer, which can then be peeled off. The same technique is used to raise small areas on the antique piece, but use a soldering iron instead of an iron. Wipe all traces of glue while it is still warm. Dampen the veneer and flatten it between two pieces of wood for about 24 hours before use. Do not let it dry completely, for veneers must be re-laid while still damp and pliable. The replacement veneer should be slightly thicker than the existing one, to allow for sanding. Stick the new strip down with Scotch glue and apply a weight or clamp until the glue has completely set. Wax and polish to match the existing finish.
A simple way to improve antique pieces of furniture, such as a chest of drawers, is to fit new handles. The Victorians had a habit of replacing metal handles with round wooden knobs, often leaving the marks of the former back-plates showing. Sets of old handles can be picked up cheaply from antique and second-hand shops but make sure that the back-plates are large enough to cover any existing indentations.
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