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Antique Furniture/Barber Shop Sterilizer Cabinet


Cabinet 1
Cabinet 1  
Cabinet 2
Cabinet 2  
QUESTION: Hello there! I have taken on a little project with an old sterilizer cabinet. This is my first refinishing project and I am trying to figure out what kind of wood this veneer is so that I can repair some chips. I believe it is walnut- do you have any idea? Also- with this type of cabinet what was the original protective coat(ie varnish vs lacquer)? I'm not trying to preserve any value,I just love the look and want to make it nice again. Thanks so much for any help you can give!

ANSWER: need close clear pictures of the wood grain to determine the wood.  often it is ok to use another fill, like wood putty then paint the grain and color on.  called inpainting.

it would have had lacquer on it in the 1930s but shellac or lacquer works--no urethanes.

once stripped the black marks on the top will go away with oxalic acid.  i can explain how to do that by email.  sanding will not work and will change the surface in a bad way.

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Bottom of cabinet
Bottom of cabinet  
QUESTION: Thank you so much! Here are some closer shots of the wood.

appears to be tulip poplar.

Many items have multiple woods.  for example often sweet gum, tulip poplar, magnolia and cottonwood might be mixed.  

When wood lots are cut with similar woods they are rarely separated for market so there will often be a mix throughout the process from cutting to the end retail outlet.

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robert klein


Regarding American antique, vintage, and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing. Please read instructions for posting.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of American antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars through several organizations.

Professional Refinishers Groop, Int., AIC, Antiques Dealers Association

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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