What do I do when I am not playing with watercolors, you ask? I’m not retired! I work full time! This is the other me, where I work with my husband Mitchell on antiques.
This is a different kind of project for me though, in that we are not repairing original shellac or cleaning an oil finish, but trying to replicate a new-old finish the client likes on her antique. Not so easy. It is easier to repair/preserve a truly old shellac.
I thought my paint-readers would enjoy it. Cheers!
The sofa as it came to us. I am skipping all the work Mitchell has performed doing proper conservation work, reparation of the frame, and going to the finish, because people think this type of finish is the easiest one. WRONG. Give me a good shellacking to do any day!
This is a European Pear wood, Louis XVI, French Empire Sofa from the mid-18th century.
The image above is the way it appeared when it arrived in our studio.
The frame was well-loved by generations though abuses by upholsterers and
improper repairs and tackings eroded and exposed substrates which required expert treatment, including returning the bent frame to its proper proportion,
bent frame shown above. The sofa was to be returned to historical accuracy in terms
of the upholstery buildup, with the frame properly repaired, but we worked with the existing finish. Since the original painted finish was no longer…
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