Jens Risom Credenza: Restoration complete.

Jens Risom Credenza Revived

Jens Risom credenza as found.
Jens Risom credenza as found.
Front of Jens Risom credenza as found.
Front of Jens Risom credenza as found.

Erik is known for taking on furniture restoration challenges that few others are willing to tackle. When we picked up this Jens Risom credenza, all the defects weren’t apparent until we got it into the shop. This project took at least 20 hours for Erik to finish and there were points in the process where he felt it was going to kick his ass. But, he prevailed and the end result is beautiful.

Below are photos showing some of the defects, parts of the repair process, and the final result.

Risom Credenza Drawers

Before: Jens Risom credenza drawers.
Jens Risom Credenza: Drawers before.
After: Jens Risom credenza drawers.
Jens Risom Credenza: Drawers after. 

Once Erik started examining the Risom credenza, it became obvious that someone had attempted to refinish it before. The finish had been applied haphazardly and it was a sticky mess to remove. Typically, during refinishing, especially when someone is inexpert at it, the interior of the piece is not touched. Not so with this credenza. Even the insides of the drawers had been poorly refinished.

Erik had to disassemble the drawers and remove the hardware in order to properly strip and refinish them. The top picture shows the foreground drawer after sanding and the background drawer in its original state. Note the stain slopped on the original Risom label. We love labels in furniture and do our best to preserve them, which Erik managed to do as seen in the bottom picture.

He did not restain the insides of the drawers, but gave them 2 coats of shellac and 1 coat of lacquer to protect the wood.

 

Repairing Holes in the Top of the Credenza

ens Risom Credenza: Holes in top, before.
Jens Risom Credenza: Holes in top, before.
Jens Risom Credenza: Holes in top, epoxy filled.
Jens Risom Credenza: Holes in top, epoxy filled.
Jens Risom Credenza: Holes in top, stain and sealer coats applied.
Jens Risom Credenza: Holes in top, stain and sealer coats applied.
Jens Risom Credenza: Holes in top, finished repair.
Jens Risom Credenza: Holes in top, finished repair.

This Risom credenza is actually the return from an executive desk, which means that the two pieces would have been joined together to form an “L” shape. The holes in the top of the credenza are where the desk is attached to the credenza. When selling the credenza separate from the desk, you have to repair the holes. The above photos show this process.

The first photo shows the holes before any work has been done.

The second shows the piece after sanding, with epoxy filling the holes.

The third photo is the piece after staining, 2 coats of shellac, and 1 thin coat of lacquer. Note how the epoxy-filled holes are still visible. It’s at this point that Erik had to use his artistry to grain-paint these spots, making them blend in to the rest of the finish.

The fourth photo is the finished product.

 

The Left End of the Credenza

Jens Risom Credenza: Left end before.
Jens Risom Credenza: Left end before.
Jens Risom Credenza: Left end, defects epoxy filled.
Jens Risom Credenza: Left end, corner epoxy filled.
Jens Risom Credenza: Left end, defects epoxy filled.
Jens Risom Credenza: Left end, defects epoxy filled.
Jens Risom Credenza: Left end, finished repair.
Jens Risom Credenza: Left end, finished repair.

The left end of the Risom credenza needed a lot of work, including removing an unneeded mounting board for the privacy panel, gluing to tighten joints, epoxy-filling a corner and more holes (lotta holes in this piece!), and a couple of other veneer repairs. The same process was followed as for repairing the holes in the top and you can see the end result.

Replacing a Piece of Trim

Jens Risom Credenza: Splintered and missing trim.
Jens Risom Credenza: Splintered and missing trim.
Jens Risom Credenza: New walnut trim cut, secured in place and shaped.
Jens Risom Credenza: New walnut trim cut, secured in place and shaped.
Jens Risom Credenza: Trim, repair complete.
Jens Risom Credenza: Trim, repair complete.

This Risom credenza is meant to float in the middle of the room, so the entire thing was designed to be finished, even on the back side. A portion of the trim on the back left corner was broken off and jagged, so Erik had to fabricate a new piece, glue it on, and shape it so that it matched the profile of the original. By the time he had the credenza finished, you could barely tell he had replaced this piece.

The Risom Credenza Brought Back to Life

Jens Risom Credenza: Restoration complete.
Jens Risom Credenza: Restoration complete.

Ta da! Here it is, the Jens Risom credenza fully restored and ready to be used by someone new. This piece would make a great entertainment center, with a slide-out tray, 5 drawers, and a space for vinyl albums or books.

 

Mid-Century United Dresser Set – Refinished Using Dye Stain Under Oil Stain

United dresser set refinish.

I am NOT an expert and I don’t even play one on TV.**

I just thought I’d share the process I used in my first effort at using a dye stain layered beneath an oil stain in an attempt to give a little depth and warmth to the finish on this set.

The original finish was similar to a blonde finish, though in a different color/tone.

United dresser set as purchased at auction.
United dresser set as purchased at auction.
The first step was to strip off the old finish. I used Klean Strip 15 minute variety. (sorry, I forgot to take a pic of the can so I swiped an image from the interwebs). After scraping the stripper I washed with Lacquer thinner; would have used straight Acetone but I was out.
The first step was to strip off the old finish. I used Klean Strip 15 minute variety. (sorry, I forgot to take a pic of the can so I swiped an image from the interwebs).
After scraping the stripper I washed with Lacquer thinner; would have used straight Acetone but I was out.
Once the finish was removed I sanded with 150 and then 180 grit.
Once the finish was removed I sanded with 150 and then 180 grit.
After sanding came the dye stain. I went with TransTint orange mixed in water. I chose water because it would give me a little more open time. I figured that, being new to this, I might need some extra time to move the color around to blend out any potential streaks or runs.
After sanding came the dye stain. I went with TransTint orange mixed in water. I chose water because it would give me a little more open time. I figured that, being new to this, I might need some extra time to move the color around to blend out any potential streaks or runs.
United low-boy, dye stained orange.
United low-boy, dye stained orange.
The next step after the dye was a sealer coat of dewaxed shellac. I happened to have enough Ruby that I had mixed for another project left over so I used that.   I had this thinned to a 1 pound cut. When spraying you have to adjust your fluid and air flow rates (if using a compressor set-up) and have to make sure you move the gun at the right speed so you get an even application but don't deposit so much material that you get runs and sags.
The next step after the dye was a sealer coat of dewaxed shellac. I happened to have enough Ruby that I had mixed for another project left over so I used that.
I had this thinned to a 1 pound cut. When spraying you have to adjust your fluid and air flow rates (if using a compressor set-up) and have to make sure you move the gun at the right speed so you get an even application but don’t deposit so much material that you get runs and sags.
After a little light sanding I applied General Finishes Mahogany stain.
After a little light sanding I applied General Finishes Mahogany stain.
Here's the hi-boy post stain application.
Here’s the hi-boy post stain application.
Once the stain had dried, I gave it two + days, I laid down several (3-4) coats of 1 pound cut SealCoat de-waxed shellac. I didn't have enough of the ruby left and was able to pick this up at a local shop so I could move the project forward.
Once the stain had dried, I gave it two + days, I laid down several (3-4) coats of 1 pound cut SealCoat de-waxed shellac. I didn’t have enough of the ruby left and was able to pick this up at a local shop so I could move the project forward.
Up after the shellac were a few coats of lacquer. Went with Watco Satin, thinned about 25% on the first two coats, and then about 50% on a final coat.
Up after the shellac were a few coats of lacquer. Went with Watco Satin, thinned about 25% on the first two coats, and then about 50% on a final coat.
United low-boy all finished. Hoping it has a nice glowing orange, Mahogany look.
United low-boy all finished. Hoping it has a nice glowing orange, Mahogany look.

**Editor’s note: It is obvious that Erik wrote this post because he immediately starts out by downplaying any of the skill he has earned over the 6 years he’s been working on refinishing furniture. His education started long before that, when he was a boy watching his Grandma Lillian refinishing furniture. Erik’s work speaks for itself and I’m pretty sure most of the pieces he’s refinished are very happy with their new look (as are the customers who purchase them). – Mary

 

Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage on Chairish

Pair of Laurel Mushroom Lamps, 2015.
Pair of Laurel Mushroom Lamps, 2015.

At Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage we are continually looking for new avenues through which to offer our vintage mid-century and modern items. While we’ve been using Etsy for some time to offer small items, we did not have an online method for sales that we could manage that dealt with the shipping of large items, like our furniture. And then we stumbled upon Chairish.

Chairish started a number of years ago as a way individuals could move higher-end used furniture without running it through Craigslist. Chairish curates the items its sells, so a certainly quality level has to be met. Over the years, Chairish has shifted focus and brought on professional dealers in housewares and furniture along with individuals.

The great thing about Chairish is that it helps arrange shipping of large items for sellers. Buyers pay for white-glove service, which means that the shippers come in and wrap the item being purchased and transport it carefully to its delivery location. For a small business like ours, this is a huge help, so we’ve signed on with Chairish, in addition to our other sales avenues.

Check out the items we currently have available on Chairish.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly at warner (dot) erikg (at) gmail (dot) com.

*****

Update (December 13, 2015) – After giving Chairish a whirl, we have found it isn’t the venue for us, so if you click the Chairish link, you’re not likely to find anything there. Please do check our Etsy Shop, stop in at MidModMen+friends in St. Paul, MN, or contact us directly.

Mid-Century Credenza Restoration

We thought we’d share the process we used to restore one of the treasures we found. Not necessarily THE right process, just one that works for us. Here are the steps.

Pic 1 - West Michigan Furniture Co. credenza as found, stains on top, compression damage, split front leg.
Pic 1 – West Michigan Furniture Co. credenza as found, stains on top, compression damage, split front leg.
Pic 2 - Detail showing damage to credenza top, including two very obvious black water marks.
Pic 2 – Detail showing damage to credenza top, including two very obvious black water marks.
Pic 3 - Applied Citristrip paint stripper to wood surfaces.
Pic 3 – Applied Citristrip paint stripper to wood surfaces.
Pic 4 - Preparing to deal with water marks.
Pic 4 – Preparing to deal with water marks.
Pic 5 - Water marks were treated with Savogran wood bleach (oxalic acid), applied with a toothbrush per manufacturer's directions.
Pic 5 – Water marks were treated with Savogran wood bleach (oxalic acid), applied with a toothbrush per manufacturer’s directions.
Pic 6 - Before and after treatment of water marks.
Pic 6 – Before and after treatment of water marks.
Pic 7 - After addressing all surface defects (water marks, steaming out compression damage, etc.), all wood surfaces were sanded to a minimum of 180 grit sandpaper.
Pic 7 – After addressing all surface defects (water marks, steaming out compression damage, etc.), all wood surfaces were sanded to a minimum of 180 grit sandpaper.
Pic 8 - Depending on type of wood, some may require pre-treatment with a wood conditioner which will help with even absorption of stain. Some woods (i.e. birch) absorb stain unevenly, resulting in a blotchy appearance if not pre-treated.
Pic 8 – Depending on type of wood, some may require pre-treatment with a wood conditioner which will help with even absorption of stain. Some woods (i.e. birch) absorb stain unevenly, resulting in a blotchy appearance if not pre-treated.
Pic 9 - After pre-treatment, apply stain. For this project we used Old Masters brand American Walnut Wiping Stain.
Pic 9 – After pre-treatment, apply stain. For this project we used Old Masters brand American Walnut Wiping Stain.
Pic 10 - After staining the piece, lacquer was applied as a top coat. We're trying to transition to environmentally sensitive products in our restoration work and to that end, used Valspar's Zenith Waterborne Lacquer. Zenith is a Greenguard Certified product.
Pic 10 – After staining the piece, lacquer was applied as a top coat. We’re trying to transition to environmentally sensitive products in our restoration work and to that end, used Valspar’s Zenith Waterborne Lacquer. Zenith is a Greenguard Certified product.
Pic 11 - The lacquer was applied with a Fuji Mini-Mite 3 HVLP spray system. This spray system makes the application of top coats a snap. With HVLP, there is less overspray, so there is less waste of product. Also, in using the waterborne lacquer, clean-up requires water instead of noxious chemicals.
Pic 11 – The lacquer was applied with a Fuji Mini-Mite 3 HVLP spray system. This spray system makes the application of top coats a snap. With HVLP, there is less overspray, so there is less waste of product. Also, in using the waterborne lacquer, clean-up requires water instead of noxious chemicals.
Pics 12-16 - The finished credenza. The entire project took about a week.
Pics 12-16 – The finished credenza. The entire project took about a week.
The finished top of the credenza.
The finished top of the credenza.
Before & After shot of coffee stains.
Before & After shot of coffee stains.
Again, the finished credenza.
Again, the finished credenza.
Pic 17 - Repaired leg of finished credenza. We did not get a before shot of this leg, which was split down the middle and had to be glued and clamped.
Pic 17 – Repaired leg of finished credenza. We did not get a before shot of this leg, which was split down the middle and had to be glued and clamped.

Links to products used:

Citristrip

Savogran Wood Bleach

Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

Valspar Zenith Waterborne Lacquer

Fuji Sprayer

Greenguard Certification

Jens Quistgaard “Viking” Bowl for Dansk

Reminiscent of the symmetry found in the bow and stern of a Viking ship, this Staved Teak bowl designed by Jens Quistgaard for Dansk exemplifies beauty through simplicity.

Jens Quistgaard "Viking" Bowl for Dansk
Jens Quistgaard “Viking” Bowl for Dansk
Jens Quistgaard "Viking" Bowl for Dansk
Jens Quistgaard “Viking” Bowl for Dansk
Jens Quistgaard "Viking" Bowl for Dansk
Jens Quistgaard “Viking” Bowl for Dansk

This bowl is marked “Staved Teak – Danmark JHQ” (alternately IHQ) and features the four ducks logo.

Jens Quistgaard "Viking" Bowl for Dansk
Jens Quistgaard “Viking” Bowl for Dansk.
Jens Quistgaard "Viking" Bowl for Dansk
Jens Quistgaard “Viking” Bowl for Dansk
Jens Quistgaard "Viking" Bowl for Dansk
Jens Quistgaard “Viking” Bowl for Dansk

This elegantly curved bowl measures 15″ tip-to-tip, 10.75″ wide, 7.5″ to top of horns and is in very good original condition, with only minimal separation on the bottom (shown in image 4).

***SOLD***