Continuing on from my last post, the repairs to the 1950’s bedsides have been completed.
I was reasonably happy with how the veneer patching turned out. Once the glue dried, I dotted the fresh veneer with a dark stain (walnut) to help give it a little colour, and after a light sand, I again spotted the repairs with a varnish/thinner mixture to build it up a little. It was after this I then realised I wasn’t happy with the overall finish on the door and drawer fronts. Cue some 240 grit wet and dry. This smoothed out the original finish, and gave a good base to then apply 2 final coats of the varnish/thinner mixture.
With the repairs done, it was time to polish the new (old) door and drawer handles in preparation for fitting!
So I’m getting married in just over a month, and my fiancee and I decided that – weather permitting, we would use this great teal/turquoise coloured 2 seater lounge designed and manufactured by Kafka as our ‘love seat’.
Being used solidly for the past 60 years has taken its toll (although small) on the lounge which is a little tired. Whats that mean? Well with time ticking away it’s time for a restoration, or perhaps more fitting, a ‘freshen up’.
First of all comes a good vacuum, especially down behind the attached seat cushion. Although a little tight to get into, plenty of dirt and dust was removed. Then, and perhaps the most notable part – washing the vinyl covering. Nothing other than some warm water, soap, and a soft sponge produced the amazing result you see in the top 2 images (left half after – right half before).
It’s crazy to think that that much dirt, grease and grime was there. The other side affect from giving the vinyl a thorough clean, was the overall feel. Before washing, the vinyl was hard to touch and stiff, yet after the wash it felt super soft and nice to touch again. It definitely revitalised the vinyl, and with a vinyl conditioner applied once dry, it will only continue to get better!
Next was the stray white paint brush mark! With the vinyl having a very fine textured pattern, I didn’t want to use anything abrasive to try and remove the paint in the grooves, so I ended up using a super fine sewing pin to very gentle pick the white paint out of the grooves. Super time consuming, however it worked quite well!
As you can see from the above picture, the timber hand rests have seen better days. The tinted shellac has started to flake off in places (like most shellac finished from the era) while the angular legs are looking a little tired.
The combination of timbers here are interesting. The hand supports are manufactured out of coachwood, whilst the legs are teak. Coachwood is naturally a lighter coloured timber, hence why a darker/tinted shellac was used as the finish – to try and match the darker, solid teak legs. May pose some difficulties down the track but we’ll cross that bridge in time!
Of late there have been some really great ‘Snelling’ pieces available online. So much so I thought it was about time I shared a few pictures of pieces I’ve come across in my time. Some I still have in my collection, other’s I have moved onto great homes where they are appreciated and adored – not to mentioned used, everyday – making them a truly functional piece of furniture, even 60 years on!
The first is a 6 foot sideboard.
The story of how I ended up acquiring it I’ll save for another day, but it definitely was the most challenging set of circumstances I’ve ever had to deal with.
These sideboards were available in a variety of sizes and combinations (glass/doors/drawers). I’ve only seen one other thus far in the 6 foot version (in a Carters Everything Vintage book).
4 drawers to the left, double glass sliding doors to the middle and a single hinged timber door to the right provide beautiful proportions whilst still maintaining a great deal of functionality for everyday use.
As you can see from the images, the Sideboard is in amazing condition, it didn’t get there by itself though! Various chips to the amazing Queensland maple veneer, a few loose joints and 60 years of grime had all taken it’s toll and did make it look a little tired – Enter ‘M’ the new owner – With a wealth of restoration experience ‘M’ undertook a sympathetic restoration, not to make it new again, but rather to give it a fresh breath of life to see it through the next 60 years, and what a great job he did.
Loose joints were re-glued and clamped, chips to the veneer were matched so perfectly I even forgot where they originally were! The yellow backing was given a wash and the original lacquer hand sanded ever so lightly with a new coating then being applied. The result – spectacular.
Be sure to check back, more Snelling related posts in the coming months!