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Heywood Wakefield Restoration: Another Rio piece done!

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Here it is before the restoration. I know some of you may like it just as it sits but I wanted a more buttery finish.

I have been staying busy even though I have not been blogging a lot as of late. I did manage to finish another piece of our Rio Heywood Wakefield bedroom set. I still need to finish the bed frame and the low dresser.

Here it is! I think it looks great.

I wasted no time accessorizing the top. I finally had a place to put our Continental Art Company fairy lamp that I repaired.

I also freshened up the frame of this 1943 Cosmo DeSalvo print. This is a matching piece to a set that I should have in a few weeks from Atomic Warehouse.

Our bedroom is coming together slowly but it has been fun building it up. We managed to pick up a couple more Clay Art heads of some silver screen icons.  We still need to get Humphrey Bogart, Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor (as Cleopatra), Mae West, and the rest of the Wizard of Oz characters (Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow). I do not know if they made any others because there is no list of faces manufactured. If anyone has any of these please let us know because we want to get a complete set.  Here is our wall as it sits now:

Heywood Wakefield Restoration: Rio Nightstands Completed

We picked these up from two separate places through our blog. Our blog has helped us meet some really great people and allowed us to acquire a lot of items we’ve been looking for. Thanks David & Vince for each contributing to the completion of our Rio Heywood Wakefield bedroom set!

Each one had condition issues but all they needed were some sanding and staining. I used the same product I mentioned before off of Ebay to restore our Heywood Wakefield Rio vanity. Like I said before, I am amazed at how easy the whole process was. Here is how they turned out:

Shinny like melting butter. I love the rich finish. I would use this to paint my car if it would stay on my car.

You must keep in mind the only way to get a completely flawless finish when applying any stain is to be in a paint booth with dust and particulate filters to purify the air. Let’s remember I am a DIY guy so I do not have a fancy paint booth etc., so I have to do my best to eliminate any kind of surface contamination. All that being considered they turned out great!

Now that I have finished these pieces I need to take them to a local glass shop to get pieces cut to protect the tops. I recommend this whenever it comes to pieces that are wood and have been refinished.

I went a little crazy here. I have a big roll of this tan leatherette material that I used to line the inside of the drawers to protect them from wear. I think I need help.

Now that I have replaced the felt on these two lamps they will look great on top of these nighstands (and won’t scratch them either).

I am very happy with the results. Now onto the dressers.


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!

Heywood Wakefield Restoration: Lazy Susan Coffee Table M1576

Anybody who is into mid-century furnishings knows Heywood-Wakefield. They have been in business since before the turn of the century. Their design and quality is unmistakable. Recently we were able to piece together a living room table set off of Craigslist. We had to drive all over the central valley and the bay to acquire all four pieces. We ended up finding two matching end tables, “lazy susan” coffee table & also a corner table. As is normal for original used Heywood-Wakefield pieces the finish was peeling and there were stains on the surface. This did not concern me because I knew that they were made of solid wood. I could sand off any imperfections and it will look like new. My intention was to sand all pieces and then stain them with Minwax “Ipswich Pine” stain. After I had applied a few coats and they had dried I then used a spray on polyurethane with a semi-gloss finish. Once the polyurethane had dried I light sanded and then applied another coat. I did this about 3 times. Since I do not have a paint booth it is nearly impossible to get a perfect finish. Not to worry, all you need is some “0000” steel wool. I then took some car wax and applied a good amount to the steel wool and began to rub in the direction of the wood grain. I let it dry then buffed it off. The finish was nice and smooth and the semi gloss finish compliments these pieces well. Here are some pictures of the process and how it turned out.

Click Images to Enlarge


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