Restoring an Antique Bench

By Bruce Johnson

As much as I enjoy digging through antique shops, I continue to shop online, which is where I found this c.1910 Arts and Crafts stool with fabulous deep carvings.

But the oak was very dry, and the old, original finish needed protection against water, pets and guests. I knew immediately the best – and fastest – solution would be a thin coat of Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax.

Minwax® makes a high quality paste wax in two colors:  Natural and Special Dark for darker woods, such as my vintage stool.

All I needed to apply the wax was a soft cloth, which I used to work the wax into the pores of the wood. The dark stain in the wax also repaired some of the scratches and wear to the stool.

After letting the wax dry for about ten minutes, I took another clean cloth and buffed it up to a satin sheen. Less than thirty minutes from start to finish, my Arts and Crafts stool is already in our living room.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

About Bruce Johnson

Author-craftsman Bruce Johnson has introduced millions of do-it-yourselfers, craftspeople and antique collectors to the world of wood finishing and antique restoration. As the official spokesperson for Minwax®, the leading manufacturer of wood finishing and wood care products, Bruce motivates people to take the initiative to beautify their surroundings. Through his many books, magazine articles and columns, as well as frequent appearances on national television talk shows, Johnson is recognized as an authority in the do-it-yourself community. Appearing on PBS, HGTV, The Discovery Channel, and currently hosting “DIY Woodworking” and “Build A Log Cabin”, on the DIY cable network, Johnson has brought the illustrious craft of wood finishing to the forefront of the American home. An expert in wood refinishing, antique restoration, and home improvement, Bruce has published more than a dozen books on these topics, including Fifty Simple Ways To Save Your House, The Wood Finisher, The Weekend Refinisher, and The Official Identification and Price Guide to the Arts and Crafts Movement. For more than 20-years, he penned an antique refinishing advice column, "Knock on Wood," which ran in dozens of antique/collectibles publications. Currently, he writes a column on Arts & Crafts for Style 1900 magazine. A rare combination of craftsman and journalist, Johnson began his career as a high school English teacher, but left teaching to set up his "Knock on Wood Antique Repair & Restoration" shop. He spent the next 10 years as a full-time professional refinisher, but eventually returned to writing. Yet, Johnson says, he won't ever be without a workbench and a couple of refinishing projects down in the basement. Johnson is also the founder and director of the Arts and Crafts Conference and Antique Show held every February in Asheville, North Carolina, at the Grove Park Inn. The conference, which includes the largest Arts and Crafts antiques show, attracts more than 1500 Arts and Crafts collectors each year to its many seminars, tours, demonstrations and exhibits. Johnson is proud to have played a role in reviving interest in designers like Gustav Stickley, who founded the Arts and Crafts movement. His latest book, “Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Furniture,” was awarded the 2009 Thomas Wolfe Literary Award. These furnishings are treasured by such collectors as Steven Spielberg and Bruce Willis, among many others.

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