How to Do a Wall of Antique Mirrors

Tuesday, 22nd July 2014 No Comments »

Mirrors are an important part of a classic or contemporary home. Generally, they are used to create the illusion of a bigger space, but can also be used for different purposes such as dressing up a home.

Antique mirrors can add the natural charm, beauty, and drama of its frame to any space and instantly brighten the room. When installed, security and style should be taken into consideration.

Exquisite 57 x 37″ Gilt Carved Rococo Beveled Mirror

Mirrors are installed in a variety of ways.

  • Brackets – Some antique mirrors require brackets for installation. For these mirrors, measurements are crucial to secure the mirror in its place.
  • Hanging Wires – Other antique mirrors have hanging wires on its back side. When installing these types of mirrors on your wall, make sure to mark the wall using the highest point of the hanging wire. Secure a nail or a hook based on where the hanging wire is.

After you have installed a mirror, check the mirror alignment by stepping back and observing its placement on the wall. Also, make sure that the mirrors are in place and safely secure.

When doing a wall of antique mirrors, feel free to get creative with the style. Each piece does not have to follow the same size, shape, or color. Also, try not to worrying on having antique mirrors from the same era.

Photo via Homedit

Style Tips

  • Try putting together different forms of mirrors before securing them in place.
  • It’s important to consider how the different styles complement each other and that they enhance the surrounding space. Feel free to put them against a colored wall for more visual impact.

There is a wide selection of mirrors at Antiques on Old Plank Road that come from different periods and origins. Choose pieces according to the personality that you want for your wall and room.

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7 Steps on How to Antique Shutters

Tuesday, 15th July 2014 No Comments »

Photo via Olive and Love

Antique shutters give off a quaint, old-world feel. For those who appreciate a country or rustic design, shutters that look like they’ve been exposed to the elements for years can be a great addition to the home.

Like any wood furniture, wooden shutters – even the freshly manufactured ones – can be made to look weathered and aged with just a little effort. Don’t worry if you don’t have any old ones at present, here are manual aging methods to realistically imitate the look of antique shutters.

The goal is to create a distressed and imperfect fashion, excellent painting skills are definitely not required to accomplish this. Simply follow these steps:

Antique English Shutters with Original Paint

Step 1.
If the shutters are attached to the home, remove them carefully with a screwdriver.

Step 2.
Sand the surface of the wooden shutters to allow the paint to stick better. For operational shutters, sand both the front and back.  Afterwards, wipe the surface with tack cloth to remove dust and grit.

Step 3.
Paint the shutters in your choice of color. Apply 2 to 3 coats of latex enamel paint in different colors. For outdoor shutters, select paints and sealers made to withstand weather.

In between coats, rub a little vaseline on the areas you want to look distressed, such as corners, edges, or the area near the hinges. This will allow your base color to show through your top coat. You can also sand the areas lightly using fine-grade sandpaper. Wipe the shutters after sanding.

Wait for the paint to dry completely in between coats as well.

Step 4.
Begin distressing the shutters. Using a coarse or medium grit sandpaper, sand the surface of the shutters to create an overall aged look. Work in the direction of the grain or in small circles and apply more pressure in areas to reveal the base coat of paint.

Step 5.
Hit the shutters with multiple keys or hammer taps to create nicks and scratches. Be careful not to hit too hard though, as you may crack your wood. Aim at the edges where the wood is thicker.

Step 6.
Sand again until you achieve the look you desire.

Step 7.
Using a paint brush, seal the shutters with acrylic varnish. While it’s ideal to make your shutters look worn out, you wouldn’t want them to rot. This would protect the shutters from breakage.

Antiquing shutters can give new life to your home, both inside and out. Aside from their original purpose, distressed shutters also make great headboards, tables, magazine stands, cabinets, organizers, decorative wall pieces and so much more.

Photo via BHG

Photo via HGTV

But if you opt to skip the whole process and jump to having authentic antique shutters, give us a call – we have a collection of antique shutters for all tastes.

Antique French Shutters with Original Paint

Pair Antique French Shutters with Original Paint and Hardware

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How to Restore an Antique Commode Chest

Tuesday, 24th June 2014 No Comments »

Many hobbyists enjoy restoring antique furniture. What’s not to love? It turns a forgotten old piece into a new addition to your home. Aside from that, it can prolong the life of your antique.

If you have an antique commode chest that needs restoring, here are three simple steps to make the old new again.

Antique Painted Three Drawer Commode

Step 1: Clean

Clean before you start any restoration project. Dust and dirt accumulated throughout the years of use or storage must be removed to get a clear idea of what the antique commode chest needs. Use a wash cloth, a sponge, and oil-based cleaner while making sure to cover all areas including the lower rails and veneers. It is only after cleaning that you can truly assess the type of maintenance your antique piece needs.

Step 2: Repair

Inspect your antique commode chest for areas that need repairing. This can be as simple as tightening screws or replacing handles. Often times the repairs may be more severe, especially when you are dealing with a piece that has not been well maintained.

Before replacing any broken parts, inspect your piece for labels or marks that would indicate its origin. If you’re not sure what to check, here’s a guide on how to determine the age of antique furniture. Unless you consider yourself the real handyman, you might need to consult a professional if you suspect your piece is worth some money.

Repairing areas of your antique furniture improves their structural integrity and helps you use them for many more years. Inspect your furniture and repair damaged areas on a regular basis.

Step 3: Refinish

Not all restoration projects need refinishing. Just in case your antiques commode chest needs it, make sure to remove the previous finish before applying a new one. Sanding is also an important step because it ensures that you start with a smooth area and the new finish will be applied perfectly. Refinishing is one of the most challenging and time consuming parts of the restoration process and sometimes needs professional help.

Take the challenge. Clean, repair and refinish antique furniture and restore it to its former elegance.

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How to Display Antique Books

Tuesday, 17th June 2014 No Comments »

Even in today’s modern and electronic age, books are still well-loved treasures – especially rare, old volumes. Generally the older the books are, the more valuable they become.

However, keeping old books in good shape can be a challenge. Old tomes deserve and require special attention as they are made from natural materials such as cloth and leather that are prone to deterioration. They are also vulnerable to degradation due to the elements such as exposure to light, water, and dust.

The good news is you don’t have to spend so much to preserve your old books. With proper care printed books can last for centuries. Here are some tips on the proper way to display your vintage collection and keep them in good shape for a longer time.

Set of 28 Antique American Leather Bound Law Books

Don’t Overcrowd Them

Old books don’t like to be crowded. Cramming books together will damage the covers and possibly crack the spines. You can use bookends that will keep the books in a vertical position as long as you make sure there is good air flow between them. Keep books of the same size together to prevent warping.

Tall Books Should Be Flat

Books 18 inches or higher should be displayed horizontally and on a flat surface. When stacking large books, avoid tall piles.

Use Glass Shelving

Glass shelves are better than wood shelves when it comes to displaying your antique books. Wood can transfer damaging acids to paper and bindings if it hasn’t been properly sealed with an epoxy finish.

Keep Them Away from Light

Light in general can damage old books. To keep antique books vibrant, display them in shelves away from direct sunlight and ultraviolet light. Put ultraviolet fillers on windows and fluorescent bulbs if needed.

Avoid Moisture

High humidity is another enemy of old books. Ideally, antique books need stable storage temperature, probably between 65 and 70 degrees F, with good air flow to hinder the growth of molds. Keeping them in the basement or attic generally isn’t a good idea.

Protect them from Fire and Water

It goes without saying that you should keep your antique collection away from fire and water threats. Check for any candles, fireplaces, and radiators nearby. Make sure you don’t put any beverages on the bookshelf as well.

Don’t be Afraid to Consult an Expert

If your antique books need repair, consult a professional before taking the task on to yourself. Avoid taping or gluing the pages together or treat leather covers with oil.

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How to Care for Antique Tapestries

Tuesday, 10th June 2014 No Comments »

Antique tapestries are valuable and timeless works of art that tell epic tales of long ago. They add warmth and color to any living space and can be extremely fragile and valuable. Some are even considered priceless.

If you want to add beauty to your home with these decorative wall hangings for the years to come, it’s important to handle them with great care.

c.1950 Vintage French Jean Lurçat Tapestry

Hanging your Tapestries

Most tapestries already come with a rod pocket or loops, allowing them to hang like a curtain. Others, however, in many cases they come unfinished and without a rod pocket. Consider asking for help from the tapestry company you got it from. They may custom fit your tapestry to make it suitable for hanging. A textile conservator can also help determine the best way of mounting it to the wall without compromising the appearance.

Cleaning your Antique Tapestry Properly

Remove all jewelry first before handling the tapestry. Jewelry may cause an irreparable tear. With a soft-bristled brush, dust the tapestry to remove any dust or debris. Be sure to do this gently as too much pressure could lead to tearing the fabric.

Vacuum the front and back of the tapestry with an upholstery attachment to remove debris from the textile’s fibers. Generally, you should vacuum your tapestry twice a year except in dusty homes or those with pets. In those cases the tapestry should be vacuumed twice a month.

If your tapestry becomes soiled, never attempt to blot it with water or with any cleaning agent. Tapestries, especially antique ones, are very fragile – even to water. To clean the stain, bring it to a textile conservator.

You should never attempt to repair an antique tapestry at home as it could cause irreversible damage that can decrease its value.

How to Store your Tapestry

For maximum preservation, maintain your tapestry in a temperature-controlled environment. It should be in a container with ventilation but not open to allow dirt and dust to settle in. To prevent threads from rubbing against each other, fold the tapestry with a piece of white tissue paper. Of course, don’t store it in a place with sharp edges to avoid damaging the thread.

These tips will keep your antique tapestries beautiful for generations to come.

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