Repair of Antique Furniture | A Simple & Easy DIY
DIY repair of antique furniture sounds time-consuming and difficult. But depending on the situation it can actually be quite simple and easy.
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How We Ended Up with This Cabinet
Last week I shared about our adoption. If you missed it go check it out!
We finally know if we’re having a boy or girl!
But because we are getting closer and closer to bringing home our baby, I am starting to “nest”.
I fought it with my first two.
People would tell me I was “nesting” and I’d be like, “No way! Not me!”
I think because this is my last time, I’m owning and enjoying all that comes with waiting for our precious baby.
I’m nesting, and I’m nesting hard!
As soon as we received our match from the adoption agency I started rearranging our bedroom to make space for the crib!
One thing led to another and my husband and I decided we wanted to give our bedroom a refresh before our baby moves in.
In our old house, we updated every room except our bedroom. We waited until we were ready to list it before we started updating that room.
Which makes no sense! Why would we save that room for last?
Once we finished it my husband made comment after comment about how much he loved our bedroom.
So after talking about it, we decided our baby coming home was the perfect reason to turn our bedroom into the relaxing retreat we want it to be.
We’re not saving our bedroom for last in this house haha!
That being said, we aren’t starting this project quite yet.
We’re still adding the finishing touches to the girls’ bedroom and school starts next week, then all the Fall festivities, and then all the holidays.
It’ll be our 2022 project.
But when you go on a casual stroll into your favorite vintage shop and find a piece that would be PERFECT for your new bedroom design, you have to ask how much it costs and call your husband.
The Pick-up…and Fall Down
The shop owner said she could verify that it was built in the early 1900s but she had a different customer come in and he suggested it might even be from the late 1800s.
Regardless, it was in GREAT condition for being as old as it was.
When we went to pick it up we were both very excited.
My husband loves this piece as much as I do, which somehow makes me love it even more than I did when I first saw it.
Before we went to move the cabinet, my husband and I verified that the doors were locked and latched.
Then we tipped it and started for the truck.
We barely got out the front door of the shop before one of the doors flung open and cracked loose.
I cried actual tears.
I know that’s ridiculous, but I’m just being honest.
All I could think about was how this awesome piece of furniture was not awesome anymore.
AND it was our fault!
After we got the cabinet home, my husband reassured me we would repair it and it would be okay.
I’m excited to tell you he was right!
We repaired it and now I can’t wait to get it back into our room for our master bedroom refresh next year!
Repair of Antique Furniture
- Wood Glue
- Parchment paper/Freezer paper
- Wood Fill Stick
- Clean Rag
- Olde English Scratch Cover
Repair of Antique Furniture
The first thing we did for this repair was applied wood glue. We put wood glue on the broken piece of wood and on the cabinet. We used a small paintbrush to make sure we got glue on all the areas that needed to be reattached.
Before we put the clamps on the wood, we put freezer paper over the area where glue may squeeze out. We didn’t want to further damage the cabinet. We also put small pieces of scrap wood over the freezer paper to help get even pressure over the entire area that needed to be reattached.
After the clamps were on for the directed amount of time, per the glue, we removed the clamps. Next, we wiped off the excess that was pushed to the surface before it fully cured.
Now that the broken piece was reattached the main concern was the crack that was left.
How do you fill cracks in antique furniture?
After doing some research, we learned there are a few ways to fill cracks in antique furniture. But we didn’t want to have to restain the entire piece.
We decided to color match with a wood filler stick and began working it into the crack. After we filled the crack we rubbed it with a dry rag to help blend the color.
We noticed the wood filler stick was much glossier than the cabinet. This is what stood out to us the most when we stepped back and looked at it. To correct this we applied Olde English Scratch Cover.
We poured a small amount on a clean rag then rubbed it on the crack and the surrounding area.
Repair of Antique Furniture
Now that the project is finished I’ve decided I still love this antique cabinet as much as I did before we broke it.
My favorite part of vintage and antique furniture is the imperfections.
With every imperfection, I think of the story that goes along with it.
I decided that someday someone else is going to get this piece of furniture and they are going to find our story.
The story of two overly excited adults who broke the cabinet door togehter and then repaired it together.
I’ve talked about it before, and I’ll talk about it again, but old furniture reminds me of myself.
I’m not perfect. I have scratches, dings, and sometimes I even have a wobbly leg. But all those imperfections come with a story, and often they come with a redemption story.
If I choose to look at those less than desirable parts of my life through the same lens I look at antique furniture I’ll find the good.
“What did I learn?”
“How can I be a better wife/mom/daughter/sister/friend because of this?”
I believe that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him. That means even my dings and dents can be used for good.
I’m not sure if this is something that you need to be reminded about, but just in case I want you to know that God can use those parts of your story that you don’t like.
Those parts that you wish you didn’t have…
You can use them to share love, compassion, and understanding with someone else.
How do you update antique wood furniture?
Now that the repair is finished we are back to thinking about trying to restore this cabinet. We haven’t done it yet, but my husband is now talking about trying to clean this up and see if he can store some of the original lusters.
We’ve used Restor-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax on different pieces of furniture before and we want to use them on this one too.
We plan to test it on the back of the furniture before we start using it all over, but as long as it turns out the way we hope I can’t wait to see what a little bit of TLC does for this antique cabinet!
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Have a great week! XoXo
Open Your Doors,
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Frequently asked questions
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Join the conversation
Shirley Hines-Lee on Sep 20, 2021
Congratulations on your new baby! I can't think of anything more exciting than a new baby and with the holidays coming up. God is blessing you in so many ways...new baby and the ability to beautifully repair this piece. Thank you so much for not even saying the dreaded 'P' (paint) word. I love old wood pieces, the craftsmanship necessary for real wood work is inspiring.
Beautiful job ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Aliya - Open Doors Open Hearts on Sep 21, 2021
Shirley! I'm all about leaving beautiful pieces just the way they are. Now, that's not to say that I haven't pulled out a can of paint before, but I try to evaluate it based on the specific piece. I'm so glad you like this post!!
Amanda on Sep 30, 2021
Thank you for such a lovely post 🤍 I absolutely LOVE vintage, antique furniture. I felt your pain because I had a somewhat similar experience with the early 1900’s sideboard buffet I purchased. The drawer handle detached and I wanted to vomit. I, kinda of, managed to get it back on.🤞🏻
However, THE BEST part of this post is the blessing I received being reminded how God loves us. Even with dents & dings we are still priceless to Him. Thank you. Thank you so much for sharing every bit of this! You have brightened my day & touched my life in a positive way. I look forward to many more wonderful posts from you.
Aliya - Open Doors Open Hearts on Oct 12, 2021
Amanda! I'm so sorry to hear about your sideboard buffet. But I'm glad you were able to get it reattached!! I also wanted to thank you for your sweet message! You have no idea how wonderful it was to read! YOU have impacted my day and heart in such a beautiful way!! THANK YOU! It truly means the world to me!!
Great job,you can't see any imperfections,
And...a big CONGRATULATIONS 🎉💞🥰🤗🌟🌹🍼🎈🎉on the adoption
This isn't about the project,but would like to know why the books in the cabinet are placed backwards?