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Beautiful, late 1800’s wardrobe restoration

1800's wardrobe restored

Why we restored it…

Generally speaking you don’t want to modify or refinish a piece this age as it can have a very negative effect on the value.  However, the client had already begun to strip the piece before contacting me so that made us all in!  We had to refinish it for this wardrobe restoration.

What we did in this restoration..

The client had attempted to sand on one side and had sanded through the paint to what was a  yellow/golden color.  Initially, we thought they had sanded through to a layer of milk paint.    However, after working on the piece a bit, we discovered this wasn’t a light coat of milk paint.  Rather it was the color that the underneath poplar had aged to. I have never seen poplar turn this beautiful golden hue…  I guess it was the mixture of painted top coats, age of the wood and the environment that made this happen.    As such the color was chosen…we were going to leave it natural.

The Steps for wardrobe restoration


1.)  We sanded with 120 grit sandpaper (very lightly to remove the paint) then moved on to 220 grit paper.  Being very careful to eliminate all swirl and sanding marks in this wardrobe restoration.

2.) Sprayed 4 coats of satin lacquer over the entire piece, top, bottom, front, back etc..   You want to do this to seal all the surfaces and keep the wood stable for this wardrobe restoration.

3.) I also reworked the hardware (hinges, knobs, etc.) to get them back in working condition.



Before refinishing the wardrobe