Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Gunlocke chair


Gunlocke Chair side
Gunlocke Chair side  

Gunlocke Chair- front
Gunlocke Chair- front  
I recently came across a beautiful hardwood chair at an antique mall and fell in love with it.  Once I got it home I discovered the Gunlocke Chair Company maker's mark underneath along with the year of manufacture (1987) and a finish which was listed as "G3.1 Map."  I looked around on the internet for more information on the chair but could not find one that looks exactly like it.  I emailed the Gunlocke chair company and though they did identify the chair was theirs and that it was constructed out of maple, they did not give me any suggestions about how to restore/refinish it.  You might not be able to see too well from the attached pics, but it is pretty (superficially) banged up with nicks, dings, and scratches (though its bones are good and it is structurally sound.)

I would greatly appreciate any refinishing advice you could give me on how best to restore this chair to its former glory without negatively affecting its value.  I have more pics I can send if it would be helpful.

Thanks for your time! and any tips you might have!

Hi Beth
Nice to hear from you.
Yes, I agree this is a very nice chair.
While the picture is not great, it appears this chair does not have the thick heavy lacquer finish we usually see on this type of maple furniture.
Without a closer inspection, I am suggesting this chair has already had the original finish removed.
There are usually tell-tale signs left from the work. Look closley under the seat. You may see evidence of an older finish or drip marks.
However to get to your question.
First I would try the simple approach. Give the chair a good scrub down with mineral spirits (varsol) and a fine steel wool pad. Simply dip the wool in the spirits and go over all the wood.
Dry with clean rags as you go.
Then a coat of low luster "Circa 1850" brand tung oil applied with a rag.
Your chair will look beautiful.
Get back if needed.
And your question just reminded me I must do this with my kitchen set of maple chairs..yikes..6 of them.

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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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