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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was recently talking to a friend about antiques and he told me that he took this old chairs with a ball and claw on it to a furniture refinsiher to have it repaired and refinsihed. Well they refinsihed it but did a poor job of doing it. They stained it and it came out blochy and un even and the top coat they put on is uneven and not very glossy. 1 he should have never had it refinished in the frist place when you take off the old finish off of old furniture it loses it's patinea an value. What he should of done was just put a lite coating of some furniture wax to protect it. The person he took it to i would not even let look at it never mind tuch it. Some people are craftsman and some are butchers it is a shame to see a pieces like this be distroyed.
 

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Refinishing just for the sake of a "new finish" does ruin the piece even when done right. A compounding problem is too many people don't do it right. I do some refinish work, but it is most always on pieces that are already destroyed. You would not believe what people drag in to my shop :no:...but It leaves looking "like new". If they just want it stripped and revarnished I usually try to talk them out of it. If it is broke I fix it. Click the pictures on the link, they enlarge. http://nelsonwoodworks.biz/pb/wp_fef97c91/wp_fef97c91.html?0.945165211259499
 

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To do or not do is the question. The value of the piece is up to the owner/user of the piece. Some real antiques, lay around in garages for 20-30 years, and no one gets to see it or use it. If it is a "valuable" piece, and the owner wants to retain all of it's historic value considerations have to be made to the extent of repair and/or refinishing.

There are a lot of hacks out there that think they know what they are doing. Unfortunately by the time the customer finds out, it's too late. There are tools other than the shop tools that make a craftsman, like talent.
 

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If someone brought a '59 Mary Kay blond Strat into my shop and said that he wanted it flat black with a flaming skull on it I'd knock his block off!!!:censored:
 

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aesthetic vs monetary value

This is what it boils down to a lot of times. Someone has a piece of furniture they want it to look a certain way. its a question of whats more important to them. How it looks or what its worth. I would let someone know that leaving the original finish intact is always better in terms of collectors value but if they want it done and are ready to pay....
 

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There isn't enough cash on earth to make me compromise my principals.
I don't think I would be known as the guy who did "that" to a nice old piece.:no:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello daren you are right to just refinish a peice for just the sake of refinsihing will reck it and hert the value of it. I wish my friend had came to me frist i would have stoped him if he would listen to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I agree corndog i would throw that person out of my shop. I have values as a wood worker an i am not in it just for the money even though i am starting a partime business you still have to have a code of ethics an values. I have been woodworking with wood since i was ateenager an i have made my share of mistakes but Some of my worst projects look better than some of the stuff i have seen other people do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Daren those pictures look good looks like you brought that peice back to life i need to get some of my picture posted.
 

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Refinishing vs Antique Restoration

I think its vital to make a distinction between ordinary "refinishing" and "antique restoration". I got quite a bit of crap for the series of videos I did on refinishing earlier this year. Several people proceeded to tell me how I destroyed the value of the table because I simply scraped off the old finish, repaired the parts that needed rapairing, and applied a new finish. I had to remind them that all the customer wanted was for an old beat up piece of furniture that lived in the garage to become a pleasant looking serviceable table. I never billed my video as Marc's guide to making money on the Antique Roadshow.

I actually worked for about a year for a buddy of mine in his refinishing shop. 99% of the people who came in were simply looking to change the color, have something repaired, or make and old piece look new. Very few, if any, were having antiques refinished for the sake of their value. My buddy actually has signs up explaining that we cant be responsible for what the wood or veneer might do after it spends a few minutes in the dip tank. lol. And he makes sure people understand the process and the inherent risks. I think its pretty obvious that this shop fell firmly under the "refinishing" category.

I guess the bottom line is antiques need to be handled by people qualified to do so. And I would imagine that a real furniture restorer would charge insane prices. Just a guess. If its affordable, you will probably get the standard strip, sand, finish routine.

marc
 

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I still sort of remember an Antiques Roadshow program where a guy was so proud of an antique highboy or something that he had refinished because he didn't like the previous 'muddy' finish on it.
The appraiser told him it was now worth something like $40,000., but if he had left it alone, it would have been worth around $240,000. or more.
The owner's look changing from proud owner to sheepish idiot refinisher was what I remember the most about that show.
 
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