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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Roos waterfall chest


missing trim
missing trim  

whole chest
whole chest  
I just acquired a Roos chest in fairly good condition. There are scratches, a few missing pieces of veneer in non-obvious places, and a missing piece of trim from the front bottom edge. I want to restore this lovely chest. I don't think it has ever been attempted. There are areas where the coating is cracked, looking like shattered glass. Do you know what Roos used as finish? How should I proceed? Formby's Restorer? Sanding with an orbital sander? How can I find a replacement trim for the front?

Finish will be either lacquer or shellac.  shellac will soften with alcohol so wet a qtip with alcohol and roll in on a place on the side.  if it softens, it is probably shellac.

but--it doesnt matter what is on it.  

i would urge you to have it done professionally but if you want to do it yourself here is how to go about it.

three options:

take all hardware off so you now have the lid, shelf (if there is one) and the base.

use paint stripper, NOT the thick type, and strip the old finish off.  do NOT get stripper inside as this will cause runs and spots you will probably never get our.

sand by hand with 180 grit paper.
stain with a light color stain, pigmented or dye stain.  even gel stain.  make sure you wipe all the stain off the surface after application.

next your will apply a coating, a clear coating.  either lacquer or shellac.

lacquer is easiest if you have spray equipment.  if you do not then you will have to brush.  they make a brushing lacquer called deft..

now the fun begins.  after it dries you will rub it with 320 no fil paper till there is no or little shine.  then you will use #0000 steel wool on the whole exterior.  

clean it good and apply another coat of clear lacquer, brushing lacquer like Deft.

OR, after stripping and sanding and staining you can do a wax finish.  using briwax in a medium brown color and wax thae chest.  twice a week for 3-4 weeks then leave it alone.

dont do anything except wax it. <<----i would so this first and live with it for a few months before attempting anything else.

for the missing molding, you will have to make it.  

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robert klein


In regards to American antique, vintage and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing, and value. I do not study mid century and later furniture nor do I deal in lamps, and other smalls. You may ask for values and I will give you current market values, I will not give you 'feel good' values. Understand that there are many factors that contribute to market value. If you want a feel good, unrealistic number, please call a local inexperienced appraiser. It is my desire to help you and in doing so I increase my knowledge as well. For that I thank you.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars by various organizations, institutions, and private collectors.

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

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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