I like very much restoring old weathered things .
Last november I found this old chest, the shape was nice but they treated it very badly; the original hinges were broken and also the wood. Additional hinges were screwed in some manner and a big crack was present in the front.
And finally it was painted with a pink oil based paint
But I guessed it would have looked nice after restoring
Step 1: Tools and Materials
To restore you need some basic tools and some chemicals. Only paint remover and finishing wax are not showed in the photograph
The use is described in the steps ahead
Step 2: Remove Hardware
First of all I did remove all the hardware. The original hinges were rusty and broken, the additional ones were ugly so I took apart only the old screws for reuse
Remember always to remove hardware before to proceed to apply paint remover
Step 3: Remove Internal Secret Drawer
The chest had an internal secret drawer with lock, but it was reducing the storing capacity and probably it was added time after the chest was crafted. So I decided to remove it
Step 4: Remove Paint
Removing the paint was the hardest thing to do. I used paint stripper, brushed on the surface.
You have to wait 10-15 minutes before remove the paint with a spatula. Then repeat the brushing, wait another 10 minutes and remove residual paint with some steel wool. Always use a filter mask and/or areate well during this operations
Finally sand with medium sandpaper to remove residues and level the surface.
Step 5: Consolidate Wood
Wood was very weathered and spongy expecially near the bottom. In this case is always adviceable to apply a specific substance to give the wood more mechanical resistance.
I use Paraloid B72, a thermoplastic resin, dissolved in acetone (3-5%)
To make the mother solution you have to dissolve 50 g of resin in 1l of acetone. It takes a while (10-15 min) to dissolve so shake now and then and use slightly warm solvent
Brush generously on the rotten wood and let it dry
Step 6: Repair Cover
I cutted down two small piece of pine wood. The cracks in the cover were squared with a small Duzuki saw, in order to better fit the inserts. First I put the smaller one and after the longer piece, then put some wood glue, and clamped the cover. To insure a better resistance (the wood inserted was supporting the hinge) I screwed some small screws (to be covered by putty )
I loved to shape the insert with a very small plane
Step 7: Repair Cracks
"I'm filling the cracks that run trough the door" said an old Beatles' song
The front crack was repaired with a thin insert of wood, glued and then planed
Rear cracks were glued and eliminated by clamping the back panel of the chest
Step 8: Fill Woodworm Holes and Apply Stain
Holes and small cracks were filled with a chalk putty mixed with pigments such as Kassel (dark brown), then sanded after drying
Old style traditional water based "walnut stain" was applied, followed by vaselin oil to give more translucency
Step 9: Shellac, "half Wax", Hardware and That's It
Shellac solution was applied traditionally first with brush and then with a cotton cloth. For some basic directions have a look at this instructable
The chest was then polished with restoring wax and finally I mounted new hinges
Now the chest it's showing in my tavern; very proud of it!
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