My Hidden Treasure Find

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Blog entry by makingitmine posted 10-02-2009 02:44 AM 1080 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I bought an Old oldold dresser/chest for $300.We sanded and discovered after research and tons of comparisons that I have an old chest or drawers made of “wormy” chestnut! Which I believe to be unique from what i have researched. The dresser is not made with screws, nails and or any modern methods of “nailing”. It is old fashioned tongue and grove, wooden “nails” or pegs and very old skeleten key locks for each drawer. It also has a “hidden” top drawer which is about 1 inch deep but was obviously made to look like the “trim”. However I got lots of questions I need help answering to finish this project I thought it was going to be a no-brainer.
1. What color stain to use for this wood. My husband and I love natural beauty, but I also have a lot of natural beauty woods already in our house, like natural finished (Minwax natural stain followed with Minwax rub on poly) red oak floors and doors and natural stained maple floors in the room this is going. I like the “cherry look but not to red, however the “mahogany” is almost to dark? Should I even stain?
2. Whats the best protectant/varnish?
3. I hope I got a value here, although it is to me and when I am finished it will be priceless to me. I’ll get a before and after shot for you to see.

Also after I finish this I have a old antique rolltop desk dating way back – no metal “parts/nails” here either and very aged needs a lot more TLC and we discovered it is oak – very heavy too. So since both pieces are going in our room, need to decide what “color” route to go and need advice badly. Winter is coming and I really want to get these projects done and inside out of the garage. BTW we aren’t into matching everything, we just think things need to compliment each other.

-- Be the change you want to see in the world!

4 comments so far

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4125 days

#1 posted 10-02-2009 03:28 AM

No Pics?

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View makingitmine's profile


2 posts in 3185 days

#2 posted 10-02-2009 03:33 AM

I just found sight so I need to go take some. Whats your take so far on what I have going here? Really at a pint with dresser to stain and replace detail trim work, some pieces got “cracked” so had to come off. I’m thinking to use oak to “trim out” also need to get new base, so I really want to use “feet” for it.

-- Be the change you want to see in the world!

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4426 days

#3 posted 10-02-2009 04:04 AM

from what I’ve heard about antiques, you might have destroyed a lot of it antique value by stripping it all down.

It would have been best to keep the old finish by just cleaning it up to preserve all of the old patina from the piece.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Rev_John's profile


93 posts in 3914 days

#4 posted 10-02-2009 03:10 PM

I too would like to see your work. As to refinishing, yes it does lose some santique value but if you are going to use it and not hold it for money value, you did good.
About the finish, all of the finishes are fine. Oil finishes help bring out the wood grain better than some others. Poly is the hardest but can leave a “factory?” plastic look. All the finishes are tough and can work well. I have an old walnut pump organ that I restored using tongue oli (about 8 coats) and it still looks great (15 years later). I have used poly on furniture that went into kids rooms for the “war zone” principle. I would consider using about 3 coasts of shellac. It is strong and is probably the original finish. Good luck and keep us up-to-date on your project.

-- John from Jackson, Michigan

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