Category Archives: Antiques

An Antique Mirror Restoration Made Simple

1. Before

While it may not look so bad from a distance, this 1950s maple mirror had originally been finished with lacquer, a popular finish for mid-century furniture. Unfortunately, this early version of lacquer tended to develop tiny cracks and blemishes over time. Fortunately for us, they don’t have to be stripped for the mirror to be saved and reused.

2. Scuff

I started by scuffing the old lacquer lightly with a synthetic pad, then wiping off the dust.

3. Lacquer

I then simply added a fresh coat of Minwax® Clear Aerosol Lacquer, which adheres best to the old lacquer.

4. Wire

Quick Tip: Never trust old wire or hooks on a heavy mirror or work of art. Always be sure to screw in a new hook and use heavy-duty braided wire.

5. HeroBefore I could get it hung on the wall, Jasper decided to take a quick peek to see how he was looking that day. Both he and the mirror look pretty good!

Be sure to check out Minwax’s new “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax.” campaign currently going on. The theme is ‘Find. Finish. Love.,’ celebrating the thrill of finding real wood pieces – sometimes in the least expected places – and the joy of making them into something we love.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

Restore a Foggy or Cloudy Skylight

Opening

For years, the skylight in our bedroom has had a permanent foggy appearance. But aside from looking unsightly, there was no reason to undergo the expense of a new one. So when I spotted this large stained glass window in an antique shop, I got an idea.

NotchesThe window’s frame was falling apart, so I removed it and made a simple oak lap-joint frame, cutting the notches using a hand saw and a chisel before gluing them together.

Test While the glue dried, I applied three different Minwax® Wood Finish™ stains in different colors– Natural, Golden Pecan, and Golden Oak to a piece of scrap oak, then held it up against the skylight to see which would be the best match.

Can As it turns out, the Minwax “Golden Pecan” Wood Finish came very close.

Stain I applied my stain, let it soak in for a few minutes, then wiped off the excess stain before letting it dry.

Plugs Afterwards I drilled a shallow half-inch hole in each lap-joint for the screws that would secure the stain glass window to two strips of wood I installed inside the skylight. The wood buttons hide the screw heads and give the frame a bit of decoration.

Lacquer Frames like this one are ideal projects for Minwax® Clear Aerosol Lacquer. Just a couple of thin coats provide all the protection the oak will need, and the lacquer dries in just a matter of minutes.

HeroWhile the antique stained glass window and my new frame didn’t fill the entire skylight, it certainly made it look much better, giving it some vintage character and a little extra color.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

A Vintage Hatbox Revived As the Perfect Gift

April is Minwax National Woodworking Month®! To celebrate, Minwax® expert Bruce Johnson has put together some of his favorite tips & tricks for using Minwax® products. Don’t forget to download the Minwax National Woodworking Month® mail-in rebate form, you could save up to $17 on select Minwax® products. 

BeforeFor several years now, Leigh Ann has had this antique Victorian hatbox, with a drawer for gloves, that had been taken from a tall dresser her grandmother once owned. With Leigh Ann’s birthday fast approaching, I decided I could find a new use for it.

Wood Filler The top had a few unsightly nail holes, so I squeezed in some Minwax® Stainable Wood Filler, let it dry, and sanded each one smooth with the wood.

Stain side The original color of the oak hatbox was still attractive, but badly worn, so after a light sanding I applied a fresh coat of Minwax® Wood Finish™ in “English Chestnut” to even out the color.

Base stain I used the same color to stain a new oak base I plan to set it on when it is complete.

Spray Tray At our craft supply store, I picked up four unfinished pine trays and sprayed each one with two coats of Minwax® Clear Aerosol Lacquer. After the lacquer had dried, I cut a piece of felt to line the bottom of each one, as well as the bottom of the glove drawer. By this time, the English Chestnut stain had dried, so I protected all the wood with three light coats of Minwax® Clear Aerosol Lacquer.

ClosedI then installed two plywood shelves inside the box where a Victorian gentleman would have stored his tall hat. Next, I screwed the hatbox to the new oak base, rehung the door and slipped the drawer back into place.

OpenNow instead of a Victorian hatbox she never quite could decide what to do with, Leigh Ann has a new place to store and display her jewelry, as well as a daily memory of her grandmother.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

A Vintage Gift for Any Golfer

April is Minwax National Woodworking Month®! To celebrate, Minwax® expert Bruce Johnson has put together some of his favorite tips & tricks for using Minwax® products. Don’t forget to download the Minwax National Woodworking Month® mail-in rebate form, you could save up to $17 on select Minwax® products. 

I love digging through thrift shops, especially when I’m looking for a gift for a special friend or relative, such as my brother-in-law, who loves to golf. When I spotted this vintage wooden shaft 8-iron for just $15, I knew I had a bargain.

The golf club had some issues, including some spots of rust. I did not want to make it look brand new, so I just used a pad of fine steel wool dipped in Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax to remove the loose rust and provide a protective barrier to prevent any more rust from forming.

I used the same Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax on a soft cloth to also revive and restore the original finish on the wooden shaft. After letting it partially dry, I buffed off the excess wax, leaving a satin sheen afterwards.

And now the once forgotten Spalding 8-iron has become a treasured part of my brother-in-law’s “man cave” down in his basement.

Until next time,

Never stop looking!

Bruce