Monday, June 16, 2014

Restoring an Antique Mirror...


It has been a bit of a process restoring the dresser I bought a few weeks ago. {Go here for Part 1 and here for Part 2 of this saga.} After cleaning the dresser, restoring the finish, and waxing it, it looks beautiful and is ready to reside in a guest bedroom. I don't usually put salad plates under the legs of our dressers, but it was still a little tacky when we brought it downstairs, so I wanted to spare the new carpet.


With the restoration of the dresser complete, I turned my attention to the mirror that attaches to the top of the dresser. The dresser was in fairly good condition, but the mirror had some obvious flaws. First there was a crack in the wood that we had to mend. Some wood glue was placed in the crack. Then the pieces were joined together with a thin makeshift wood connector {Aka: a sawtooth hanger hammered flat -- my husband is a bit MacGyverish} and it was clamped together as it dried.



The glue and the wood connector pulled the pieces together so that the split was barely noticeable at the top...


But, the further down it went the split was more visible, and there wasn't any way to pull the wood closer together at the bottom. {see arrows below}


After letting the glue dry for more than 24 hours, I used some Miniwax Wood Putty to fill in the rest of the split. With the wood putty in place the crack disappeared.


I also used wood glue to secured a part of the hand carved detail where the wood had split.


After the glue dried I filled that in with wood putty too, however the split was fairly wide and the putty a bit light for the wood, so it was more noticeable...


After the putty dried I retrieved some thin felt tipped markers in black and brown and touched the putty up a bit -- smudging the lines and dots of ink with my finger as I went. It took 2 seconds to complete. It may not be very professional, but it does the trick. It blends in much better now...


Next we will be redoing the mechanism that holds the framed mirror to the curved frame. Someone tried to fix that at one time and did a pretty horrible job. The mirror hangs at an angle and there's a half inch difference from one side to the other. {see arrows below} Once we get those adjustments made I will clean it, restore the finish, and wax it, so it will match the dresser.


I'm in love with the hand-carved detail on this piece.

5 comments:

Gail Wilson said...

wow! very impressive, great tips Suzanne! I have pinned it for all the great tips!

It's going to be such an awesome piece when it's all back together!!!

The dresser already looks perfectly wonderful.
gail

Chris said...

Suzanne, it is absolutely beautiful!! I love oak furniture and that is really a beautiful piece!! The carving accents add so much charm to the dresser. GREAT FIND!!!!

lefty.rollins said...

I am loving your series of posts about restoring this dresser! I recently bought an antique sewing machine cabinet, and I look forward to using your tips to restore it. One question: What do you do about wood that has water damage? I know you mentioned what you did about the water stain, but the wood on part of the top of my cabinet is warped/bubbled because of water from a plant pot. Is there any way to help that? Thanks so much!

Julie said...

Gorgeous!!!!!

Suzanne said...

Lefty,
I would imagine you would need to sand down the area where the wood is damaged. I don't think putting a product over damaged wood would do any good. Good luck!