Collectibles-General (Antiques)/bedroom set


QUESTION: Hi Eileen,
I have an old bedroom set(bed, 2 dressers, large mirror and 2 nightstands) of my parents from the 1950's. It is from the Mahogany Association, Inc., Number 520 with a "white" finish. Some of the finish has been rubbed off through wear and it has basically yellowed with age. The drawer knobs are a heavy "bronze' type that have also darkened.
1. What can I do to make this set look better? Is it a matter of totally refinishing it?(really beyond what I could do)
2. Do you have any suggestions about the drawer knobs? They have two screws that attach them to the furniture.
Thank you so much for any advice you can give me!

ANSWER: Hi Deborah
Nice to hear from you.
Sorry I never got this question yesterday. My PC was down.
Have you considered painting this set?
You will not be harming the set if you paint.
The knobs can be painted also.
But if you do not want to go that route, I would try a good scrub. Perhaps some of the yellow will come off.
For this I use a product called "Citrus Solve".
Its sold under other names as well. Its a cleaner degreaser.
If you decide to paint, let me know and I'll give you some pointers for a nice job.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Eileen,
Thank you for your response. It gives me options to consider! Would I get the "citrus Solve" at a Home Depot or Lowe's? If I do try to clean it, would you have any suggestion for where I could find knobs that attach with 2 screws positioned vertically, not horizontally? All drawer knobs that I've looked at attach with only 1 screw.
Thank you for your help.

Hi Deborah
Yes, I'm sure you can get this or a similar citrus based cleaner at the stores you mention.
Personally I would keep the original knobs. They can be easily spray painted.
Black, gold or silver are good choices to consider.
I need to know how far apart the screws on the knobs are to answer the question correctly. And are they actually knobs or handles placed vertically? Its hard to imagine a knob that needs 2 screws.
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Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Eileen Cronk


I can answer most questions about the repairing and refinishing of all your old furniture items (the things we call antiques). I can also give you advice on what wood items to choose and what wood items to avoid at auctions, flea markets etc. I DO NOT give appraisals on antiques as this is not my field of expertise.


I have been repairing, refinishing and of course buying old furniture for the past 30 years. On any given weekend I can be found at auction sales or flea markets searching out a good buy. I have taken several courses in this area over the years, but I find "Hands On" learning to be the best teacher. I can help you avoid the pitfalls and problems of this wonderful rewarding craft.

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