RSS Feed

Heywood Wakefield Restoration: The Right Tools For The Job!

Here it is before I restored it. The finish was tired and it was flaking off in some areas.

Mel and I picked this up at a local antique store and consider it one of our great finds. As I mentioned before, I want to decorate our bedroom in the rare Heywood Wakefield Rio style pieces (these were only made from 1943-1944). This is the first piece in our set. We are awaiting delivery of our low and tall dresser from back east.

The old finish wasn’t rich enough so I decided to change it up.

The first thing I had to do was use Klean-Strip chemical stripper to remove all the old finish. It took numerous coats to get the old finish off.

After I removed the old finish I needed to sand the whole piece down to ensure the stain penetrated the bare wood. This is a very important step to ensure the stain takes.

It is important that you sand the piece thoroughly to make sure the stain touches only bare wood. Once sanded make sure to wipe it down really well to remove any dust.

It is amazing how well Heywood Wakefield built their furniture. You can see that they used a lot of solid wood during the construction and most of it is old growth.

I used Minwax Ipswich Pine stain to restore the other Heywood Wakefield pieces, but I wanted to try something new this time. I wanted to achieve the milky, buttery finish they originally came with. I had seen this Champagne stain sold on Ebay and it seemed to be very effective from the pictures shown on the item auction screen. Jeff over at  “needful_useful_things” is the seller of this wonderful product and let me tell you this stain did not disappoint. Jeff has done a wonderful job explaining how to apply the stain and even offers himself up for questions if you need help. Anyways, the stain arrived and I was ready to give it a try.

Per Jeff’s instructions you will apply 4 coats of this stain. I decided to start with the drawers in case there was a learning curve (there wasn’t).

As you can see the buttery finish is present and they look fantastic. I was shocked at how easy the whole process was. I thought the process would be more complex but it was just a repeat each time. I am hooked on this stuff and will use this going forward when it comes to restoring Heywood Wakefield.

When the stain goes on it looks really milky but when dry it has a richness to it.

It took me a few days to knock this project out becasue drying times took a while due to the cool and wet weather we have been having. It is important not to rush a restoration. Just let it take as long as it takes, because if you hurry it will show in the final piece.

Here the piece is with 2 coats on it. The more coats you apply the better it looks!

After all the pieces dried the last step was to wax the piece. I love the final results!

As you can see I wasted no time accessorizing this piece. The finish looks like butter!

The finish looks as good as new!

What makes this stain so much like the original is that it shows just enough of the wood grain.

I could just see Mel getting all dolled up!

Next I need to refinish the stool we ordered on Ebay to match the vanity. I will be getting it recovered by our good friend Bill at B&T upholstery.

Now onto the next resto!

Advertisements

32 responses »

  1. Stunning perfection. Simply gorgeous.
    ~Vic~

    Like

    Reply
    • Hepcat Restorations

      Thanks Vic! I’m trying to get these other resto’s done so I can get to the desk. I’m working on the bamboo next then the desk :).

      Like

      Reply
      • Ok, so here’s my “dumb-rank-amateur” questions…I thought stain was only for color. Why does your finish have such a lusterous shine? I thought to get a shine like that you would need to use several coats of lacquer. Also, is there a reason you used the Kleen strip stripper instead of the more “green” citrus stripper you have recommended? Is it more efficient on some jobs?

        Can’t wait to see the bamboo! And OF COURSE you KNOW I’m biting at the bit to see that desk! At least I think I am. I’ll probably cry because you know how much I love it and I’m going to be SO thankful for the new life you will give it. I think I should be the FIRST to see it ;- )

        Like

      • Hepcat Restorations

        Hey Vic!

        Why does your finish have such a lusterous shine?
        I copied this from the posting description “TONER CONTAINS (1.)STAIN/COLORING (2.)OPAQUE ADDITIVE AND (3.)OIL BASED POLYURETHANE; EVERY THING YOU NEED IN ONE PRODUCT.” Jeff calls it a stain but it is made of 3 things.

        Is there a reason you used the Kleen strip stripper instead of the more “green” citrus stripper you have recommended? Is it more efficient on some jobs?
        Kleen strip is a harsher product and it removes the finish quicker. I try to stay “green” when I can. I’m kind of backed up projects right now so I’m trying to knock stuff out. I know that’s a terrible reason :(. Citrus stripper works really well, it just takes a little bit longer.

        You absolutely will get to see the desk first!!!! I don’t know how soon I will get to it, but I’m working towards it :).

        Like

    • wow…. I have a complete H/W bamboo livingroom set ( including the stack tables and swivel table), I need to restore…Finally someone with some ipics to back up the info…. I’ve been cautious to start this because I don’t want toruin them. Now I can do this! Its a big job ahead. but you have given me ifo, pics, and places to followup…thank you.

      Like

      Reply
    • The Haywood Wakefield dresser/vanity looks great. I am getting ready to refinish a hay-wake serving table. I tried to fine the stain you used on eBay but could not. It was from Jeff at useful_needful_things. Do you have another way to get in touch with him?
      Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. That is a really beautiful piece of furniture. Thank you for including the product names you used and the steps taken.
    Do you think this would work on a credenza that looks like it’s got veneer on top? It also has an inlay trim all around the edge, which I’m afraid could be ruined by stripping and sanding.

    Like

    Reply
    • Hepcat Restorations

      Unfortunately, you’ll have to strip/sand to get the piece down to the bare wood veneer. You can’t apply this product over existing finish. I don’t recommend using the product in this situation, especially with the inlay trim.

      Like

      Reply
  3. First time commenter, but I have ogling this blog for awhile now. As for this restoration, that finish is absolutely gorgeous! It really looks buttery and just…beautiful.

    Like

    Reply
    • Hepcat Restorations

      Thanks so much for commenting and enjoying the site!!! Yeah, Jeff did a fantastic job at duplicating the original finish. Trust me, if you ever want to try to restore something with this finish don’t be intimidated. This product is so user friendly. Also, feel free to leave comments. I love to hear from my readers!

      Like

      Reply
  4. That looks fantastic! I’m also a Rio owner, but haven’t dived into restoring the finish yet. We picked up a random Heywake nightstand that had been painted [the HORROR!] and I’d love to restore it to a proper color.

    Like

    Reply
  5. Just acquired most of one of the Rio bedrooms sets – THANK YOU for your great instructions, info and pictures.

    QUESTION: any ideas of where to get just the drawer pulls? My vanity is missing one.

    Going to use your restoration as the bar for mine. Beautifully done.

    Like

    Reply
    • Fantastic, that is a really cool set. I appreciate your kind words about my resto and I wish you luck on yours. You will love the finish you achieve. As far as finding a replacement drawer pull I recommend searching Ebay.

      Like

      Reply
  6. Any ideas of whether I’ll be able to strip down a deep dark stain someone put on an HW vanity?

    Thanks for any help, tips.

    Like

    Reply
  7. Beautiful! I just purchased the same product for the same Rio vanity. What did you use to apply your stain?

    Like

    Reply
  8. I have a HW Encore line M516 dresser shaped just like the one you refinished. I am going to refinish it as well and was curious as to how you handled the curved inset? It seems like it is a thinner piece of wood, possibly veneer, and I am nervous about sanding it to hard. Also was it hard to have a piece of glass cut to fit the vanity shelf? Thanks in advance! Love your restorations!

    Like

    Reply
    • Hi Jill,

      The best way to handle the curved piece since it’s thin is to strip it. Once it is stripped, get a really light grit sand paper and sand in the direction of the grain. You don’t want to do this hard, just get it smooth. Then, it will be ready for stain. I was fortunate to have a galls piece for the vanity. But, since yours is missing, use a piece of cardboard to duplicate the shape of the missing glass and take it to a glass store to cut the glass with a rounded edge, just make sure you measure the thickness to the channel in the vanity.

      Like

      Reply
  9. What kind/brand of wax did you use? Thanks.

    Like

    Reply
  10. Your results are stunning! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge! I’m about to attempt refinishing what I think is a Modernage streamline coffee table. I can only find the style finished in black lacquer on the web (https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/tables/coffee-tables-cocktail-tables/art-deco-two-tier-cocktail-table-modernage/id-f_1346433/?utm_medium=pla&utm_source=google&utm_term=coffee-tables-cocktail-tables&utm_content=easy-ship&product=f1346433&gclid=CIC-xpXyrscCFQyoaQodKTsPMw) but mine had a very worn, blonde finish similar to H-W. This is my first time trying to refinish anything, and I originally thought I would stain it then use some kind of clear coat on top. Thanks to your post, I think I will try some of Jeff’s Champagne stain.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  11. Hello, Hepcat! I am in the beginning stages of refinishing some abused/neglected Hey-Wake pieces. The lacquer and champagne stain came off easily with 3M safety stripper, but a very even pinkish (opacifier?) tone remains…best to sand it off to bare wood, do another dose of the stripper or just apply the stain/finish from Jeff over it? Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: