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Antique Restoration

  • antique-restoration
    Antique Restoration

This section describes the methods and materials required to repair and restore antique furniture, picture frames, decorative plaster work and to duplicate missing hardware through cold casting. Please watch the instructive videos in this sections to take you through each project successfully.The collection of materials listed below are what is required to complete each project described here.

                        PART 1 of 3 Parts

Whether you inherited that sentimental antique from grandma or found a compelling piece of furniture at the flea market that was just calling to you, nothing is so frustrating than trying to restore a piece of furniture that has a missing or damaged draw pull, scroll work or finial. More often than not, after searching in vain and failing to find a duplicate, that old piece of furniture is relegated back to the attic or basement to wait for the next generation to try their restoration luck. But the story doesn’t always have to end like that. As a matter to fact, it can more often than not, have a happier ending if you follow the workshop tricks of the old-time-craftsmen.

Most of us are good with paint strippers, steel wool and stain or paint. It doesn’t require too much instruction to apply them, only patience and attention to detail. But paint or stain can’t cover the fact that an applique or draw pull might be missing no matter thick the paint covering. Yet it is not as difficult as one thinks to duplicate a handle, drawer pull our missing scroll work if you have the right materials and a copy to work with. Then all it takes are a few steps to create a mold and to cast a duplicate.

For beginners, I recommend a silicone mold putty that when the two parts combined and mixed; will set in about five minutes. It makes for a fast and study mold as before it cures it fairly thick with the consistency of putty or clay, thus, easy to apply without runs or drips. Once properly mixed, simply press the mold putty against duplicate scroll work on your furniture piece and then allow it to cure. For a missing knob or drawer pull, cover the entire surface of any remaining knobs or pulls and allow the silicone to cure.

Once cured, the silicone mold putty is flexible enough to be stretched so that the original item may be extracted from it without tearing. So as you can see, the mold making part really doesn’t require any decision making. It comes in two parts, you combine equal parts of each and work them in your palms to mix them together. Each part is a different color, so the objective is to mix both parts thoroughly enough so you don’t see any color marbling, just a homogenous color all the way through. That is how you know it has been properly combined. A big advantage of using silicone over other mold making materials is that you don’t need to apply a mold release to the surface of your work before applying the silicone mold material.

As to decision making, the opposite is true of casting materials. Here a number of material decisions must be made. First and foremost you must determine the type of material that the original was crafted from. Is it wood, metal or plastic? That is a fairly easy call. But if it is metal, what type of metal is it? Whatever the original material may be, creating duplicate casting material follows the same method. For example, if you are duplicating wood, then you would acquire wood powder. A common one is pecan shell flour. The formula combines one third of pecan shell flour with one third of Part A of fast setting polyurethane resin and one third of Part B of the same resin. Once thoroughly, mixed it is poured into the mold and allowed to cure. Fast setting resin will cure in about fifteen minutes. After curing, the piece is buffed with “0000” steel wool to expose the wood surface. All that is needed is to carefully duplicate the original color by applying a matching wood stain.

For a metal part reproduction, metal powders are used and combined with polyurethane resin in the same ratio as the wood powder. There are many types of metal powders available on the Internet, the most common ones being bronze, brass, copper and tin. Make certain that they are fine enough to properly combine with resin. You need to specify a 325-screen mesh to be safe.

These simple, but effective restoration tricks can bring those cherished by wounded pieces furniture back to life so you can enjoy them for many generations.. They can also allow you to inexpensively restore a piece of flea market furniture and turn it around for a quick profit. So with those tricks in mind, happy antiquing!

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  1. Pecan Shell Powder

    Pecan Shell Powder

    Starting at: $7.99

    Pecan Shell Powder for cold casting, imitating wood and as a urethane filler. combine with AquaClear resin for a simulated mahogany or KastEZ resin for a simulated maple or oak finish. Learn More
  2. Multi-mix Container 1-Quart

    Multi-mix Container 1-Quart

    Starting at: $1.49

    This 1 quart tub is convenient for small batch mixing. Includes ounces, milliliters, and ratio mixes. Learn More
  3. Cirius Urethane Resin Dyes

    Cirius Urethane Resin Dye

    Starting at: $5.95

    Urethane Resin coloring dyes for urethanes and resins Learn More
  4. ArtLube-100 Rapid Mold Release

    ArtLube-100 Rapid Mold Release

    Starting at: $15.95

    Comparable to Synlube 531. ArtLube-100 is a silicone-based release agent specifically formulated for use with polyurethane molding systems and KastEZ urethane casting system It can also be used with other polyurethanes, epoxies, polyester resins, and silicone rubbers. Learn More
  5. MoldRite 25 Silicone - Classic Mold Making Silicone

    MoldRite 25 Silicone - Classic Mold Making Silicone

    Starting at: $41.95

    MoldRite 25 silicone is our most popular mold making material in our silicone line. This product is mixed with Cat-Blue catalyst providing 40-minute working time. Learn More
  6. AquaClear Clear Casting Resin

    AquaClear Clear Casting Resin

    Starting at: $43.95

    AquaClear resin is a non-yellowing, UV resistant, optically clear casting resin. AquaClear casting resin has a working life of 16 minutes and a demold time of 24 hours. Makes beautiful lifecastings. Learn More
  7. KastEZ Resin for Easy Casting - 2 Part Polyurethane

    KastEZ Resin for Easy Casting

    Starting at: $24.95

    Kast Ez Resin is a two-part polyurethane casting system. KastEZ Resin is mixed one-to-one by volume and cures at room temperature. Learn More
  8. Multi-mix Container 5-Quart

    Multi-mix Container 5-Quart

    Starting at: $2.59

    A 5 quart semi-transparent tub with visible quart and liter calibrations for easy mixing/measuring. Solvent resistant. Use with all resins, silicone and paints. Made of high density polyethylene. Reusable and recyclable. Learn More
  9. Multi-mix Container 1-Pint

    Multi-mix Container 1-Pint

    Starting at: $0.95

    This 1 pint tub is convenient for small batch mixing. Includes ounces, milliliters, and ratio mixes. Learn More
  10. Latex Gloves - Disposable

    Latex Gloves - Disposable

    Starting at: $1.95

    Latex industrial grade disposable light powdered gloves - Sizes: Small, Medium and Extra Large Learn More