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!