Thursday, January 11, 2018

Before and After: Antique Glass Table

By Gretchen Sawatzki

Tables with inlay and veneer can be difficult to restore properly. Having been stored in a garage for several years, this antique table from the 1920s sustained weathering, water and structural damage. Made of walnut and oak, this antique table needed sanding, refinishing, and stabilization. Here's the before and after of this restoration project.

Antique glass table before restoration. Photo by Charles Wiesner.

The beautiful inlay and veneer table top was heavily scratched, faded, and lacking luster. The broken pedestal was glued and clamped into place to secure it. After a good cleaning and several rounds of sanding, the table needed a solid refinishing. A custom color was mixed and used for the refinish.

Antique glass table after restoration. Photo by Charles Wiesner.

After the refinishing, a new glass table top was cut and placed on top for a full restoration.

Do you have an antique table in need of professional restoration? Give us a call or visit our website for more information.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

January Projects to Help You Get Through the Winter

By Gretchen Sawatzki 

If you're buried in a few feet of snow like most of the country and starting to go stir crazy inside your home, now might be a good time to work on some of those indoor projects you've been neglecting.

January is a great time to get your indoor projects going. Why? Well not only are you most likely spending more time indoors, but it's also the time of year that last year's products are on clearance. You can find a lot of products on sale including tiling, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, door and more for a fraction of the price last year.

Antique interior pine doors perfect for an indoor restoration project.
Photograph by Hannah Manning for Materials Unlimited

If you're working on a restoration project, and you're in need of new doors or hardware, now is the time to get those installed. Custom wood doors and antique solid wood doors are always a great option when jazzing up your interiors. Replacement hardware can refresh a space for maximum impact with little money spent. Plumbing fixtures can also be easily changed to give a kitchen or bathroom a new look for the new year.

Cabinet knobs available at Rejuvenation. Image credit.

So, if you're looking for something to do while the weather has you stuck indoors try checking off those small repairs and restoration projects that can cost less now and give you something active to do while you hibernate from the cold.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Before and After: Carved Griffins

By Gretchen Sawatzki

Our restoration shop has been busy this holiday season, so here's a quick look into a simple cleaning project we've been working on.


These beautiful hand-carved griffins came into the shopping needing a quick clean-up. For quick cleaning you can use a number of great products including Kotton Klenser.

Kotton Klenser is easy to use. Simply apply, let the product work its magic for a few minutes, and let it lift dirt and grime while conditioning the wood. A quick wipe down and the wood is clean and ready for a fresh finish. Try an oil or Minwax finish the look and color you desire.

The griffin on the left has been cleaned with Kotton Klenser and oil-rubbed, while the griffin on the right has yet to be cleaned. You can really see the difference!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Photo Friday: Antique Wine Press

By Gretchen Sawatzki

Wine, the nectar of the gods. It's been around for centuries and is a huge part of every day culture. If you're a wine lover than you may find this antique wine press pretty imPRESSive!

Antique grape crusher/wine press.
Photo by Hannah Manning for Materials Unlimited


Made of antique oak and cast iron, this combination grape crusher/wine press from the early 20th century once crushed grapes for the perfect glass of wine. Non-functioning today, the wine press would have been used to produce small batches of wine, and makes a great conversation piece!

Antique grape crusher/wine press.
Photo by Hannah Manning for Materials Unlimited



Thursday, October 26, 2017

Photo Friday: Antique Victorian Sideboard

By Gretchen Sawatzki

Antique Victorian period sideboard. Photo by Hannah Manning
 for Materials Unlimited.

Furniture of the Victorian period has been described as oversized and overly decorated. While this might be true, some of the more massive forms of furniture during this period served a purpose and provided a point of view. 

The sideboard in Victorian America was the quintessential entertaining piece. Positioned at the center of the dining room, the sideboard was meant to display food and wares while entertaining. Its oversized design served multiple purposes as well with drawers to hold silverware, cabinet doors to hold porcelain tablewares, and the massive scale to show masculinity. The dining room is often called a masculine room, as this is where the male provider shows his worth in both food and status, and this is clearly reflected in the Victorian era sideboard.

Before and After: Oak Dining Table

By Gretchen Sawatzki

We've all bought things that we thought we could fix and use later. Sometimes we follow through and sometimes it takes several years to come to fruition. When our customer found an antique oak pedestal style dining table in pieces for a good deal with intentions to restore it, they never thought it would take five years to realize their vision.

The table top prior to restoration. Photo by Charles Wiesner.

With lots of parts missing and non-functioning, our customer's first inclination was to have a new leaf made to expand the table, but the leaf wasn't properly fitted in over five years! Lucky for us, these wonderful people brought their project to our restoration specialist; bringing us another fun challenge!

Damage to the pedestal required extra attention with gluing and stabilizing.
Photo by Charles Wiesner.


When the table arrived at our shop, it arrived in pieces. The table was missing castors, the top was tipsy, and the pedestal unstable. The first step to restoration was to install locks, levers, and shims so the table could properly open to receive the new leaf.

After installing the hardware, the new leaf was properly fitted.
Photo by Charles Wiesner.

After fitting the hardware and shims, the leaf was leveled to prevent an uneven surface. This required a lot of sanding and using a level. Then the leaf was fitted to match the existing table top.

After several stages of sanding, the finish was applied.
Photo by Charles Wiesner.

Next, the entire table was sanded in various stages before color-matching and staining. Minwax English Chestnut was the color finish of choice and after several applications with sanding in between, the table was good as new and ready for use!

The table after restoration. Photo by Charles Wiesner.

Do you need help finishing a furniture project? We specialize in a wide range of restoration services. Give us a call at (734) 483-6980 to learn more or visit our website.