Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Before and After: Antique Mahogany Hall Mirror

By Gretchen Sawatzki

About a month ago, a customer walked into our shop and presented our restoration specialist with a challenge - to strip and refinish a stunning antique mahogany hall mirror circa 1910. The hall mirror consisted of two parts, an independent wall-mounted mirror and seating pedestal below.

Upper wall-mounted mirror stripped of "plastic" finish.
Photo by Charles Wiesner.

When the hall mirror arrived, the finish was dull and plasticized. It was clear that the wood was in need of some love. First, we removed the mirrored glass from the wall-mounted mirror and discovered a maker's mark on the reverse of the mirror. The mirror was stamped with a patent date of March 31, 1887.

Maker's mark on reverse of the mirror.
Photo by Charles Wiesner. 

Next, we stripped the wood finish in a multi-stage process. The wall-mounted mirror was stripped first, removing the "plastic-like" finish. Once finished, the lower pedestal was methodically stripped to match the mirror.

Lower seating pedestal stripped of "plastic" finish.
Photo by Charles Wiesner.

The process to strip the upper mirror required several hours of labor to properly remove the unwanted finish. The lower pedestal was more involved due the level of carved detail. The photo below shows the original "plastic" finish compared to the stripped wood.

Before and after stripping.
Photo by Charles Wiesner.

Once all of the pieces to the mirror were properly stripped, a dark finish was selected for the piece. The hall mirror and lower pedestal required multiple stain applications with mild sanding in between each application to achieve a rich color. Now the hall mirror looks better than ever with its new finish.

After stripping and refinishing.
Photo by Charles Wiesner.
Do you have a piece of furniture in need of restoration? Our full service shop offers restoration services for all types of furniture and lighting. To learn more visit our website 

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