Although many products associated with furniture care and restoration recommend steel wool in their instructions you should avoid using steel wool on antique furniture. In the furniture trade, steel wool’s use is limited to producing results after a finish has been applied, not before and never during. Read More +
The Virginia Historical Society is hosting a special program called With a Collector’s Eye: An Institute on Southern Furniture. The event will feature two sessions taught by guest instructor Sumpter Priddy III. Read More +
Antiques collectors love old things and these new products make our collections and investments all the more valuable. From Orange Glo and Tech Stain Remover to Zippo lighters and retro-inspired signs, these are some of our favorite new products for our old collections. Read More +
It is tempting to date a piece of antique furniture by looking at a book with pictures of antique furniture and find one that is like the piece you are considering purchasing. But the style doesn’t guarantee the age or that it’s antique. Read More +
There are lots of things you can do with your newly acquired family treasure of an older or antique piece of furniture. If it needs more than just cleaning, try these three tips to avoid stripping the piece entirely. Read More +
A tag that really counts: an original furniture company tag, as shown on this American oak “cowboy desk” (below), which was sold Sept. 10, 2011, by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery for $125. by Fred Taylor One of my favorite pastimes, of … Read More +
Furniture Detective: Here are a few quick fixes that will improve the look of your antique furniture for the holidays without investing a week or a fortune. Read More +
If you were able to ask an appraiser on TV or an auctioneer could they, in fact, precisely define the concept of patina for you? Probably not. As it turns out, the definition of patina is a lot like the definition of pornography. It’s hard to say what it is but you know it when you see it.
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Furniture Detective Fred Taylor asks after a piece of antique furniture is stripped, what happens next? The purist will say to finish it in some exotic concoction of wax and oil and leave it alone. The hack next door will recommend three coats of tinted gloss polyurethane rubbed between coats with fine steel wool. The professional will say: "Sand it first." Sand it? Why in the world would you sand it? Because preparation is 90 percent of finishing, and the best finish in the world won’t look good if the piece isn’t properly prepared for the finish. So what exactly is the objective of the sanding process?
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Furniture Detective columnist Fred Taylor says in an effort to determine the range of the age of a piece of furniture, we have the beginnings of a built-in time line if the piece has drawers. A drawer is a fairly difficult thing to build when you get right down to it. It is a five sided box that must fit perfectly within a case (a six-sided box) and be removable on demand without binding or breaking either the drawer or the case.
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