Saturday, March 15, 2014

Podiatric Treatments for a Chest of Drawers

Here’s one I finished up a little while ago. This piece was discovered in the cellar of a new house acquisition. It seems that the object was damaged and placed out of the way until it could be dealt with at a better time which apparently never came. The new owners of the house saw the charm of this piece and decided to have it conserved.

Before Treatment

Object Description: Mahogany Bow-Front Chest of drawers
Date/Period: 18th/19th century
Dimensions: H: 41 ¾” W: 34” D: 23 ¼”
Materials: Mahogany and pine wood, brass hardware
Finish: transparent resin varnish


The proper left bracket feet were broken into several pieces and were separated from the case. The lowest drawer cockbeading was broken and missing a part. The finish was soiled and dusty, minor scratches on top.

Dust and Soiling

A view of the problem from the underside


Treatment: The proper left (PL) bracket feet were reglued with animal hide glue and two supportive blocks were added inside and inpainted black with shellac and pigment.


Supportive block added

Epoxy fill carved flush

Losses on PL feet were filled with epoxy putty carved flush and inpainted with shellac and pigments. The proper right feet were also stabilized with hide glue. Lowest drawer cockbeading was repaired by grafting into missing area. The repair was inpainted with shellac and pigments. The drawer runners were waxed.

The top after dust was removed

In progress polishing with OMS and rottenstone for scratch removal

The varnish was cleaned with odorless mineral spirits. The top was sanded lightly with 400 grit sandpaper and rubbed to sheen with rottenstone. The entire coating was paste waxed and buffed.


After Treatment

PL front foot

PL rear foot


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