There are quite a few factors to consider when dating furniture. You need to examine the way the furniture is put together, the tools used to make it and its design.Continue Reading
Inspect the back of the furniture, inside the drawers and underneath it to look for flaws that indicate that it was made by hand. If it appears to be flawlessly made, it was likely made by machine and is dated after 1860.
Because it is very difficult to make exact replications by hand, check the legs, feet and other matching aspects of the furniture. If they appear to be identical, it is likely a machine-made, post-1860 piece.
Examine the furniture for signs of chisel marks, uneven surfaces from hand planes, marks from manual saws and marks from circular saws. The tools that were used can provide insight into the furniture's age.
Although you cannot base your date exclusively on the wood type used, there are certain time periods that are closely associated with certain wood types. Many pre-1700 pieces used oak wood. During the 1700s, walnut and mahogany became increasingly common. Cherry and maple wood became prevalent throughout the 1800s, and oak had a resurgence in popularity in the 1900s.
Look for irregularities in the screws to determine whether they were made by a person or by a machine. Screws made by hand are likely made in the 1700s, while machine-made screws with handmade indentations are likely from the mid-1800s.
Although furniture replicas have been made throughout history, determining the time period a furniture style was popular can provide valuable context clues.
To repair wooden furniture, apply retouching marker, paste wax and polish to fix scratches; sand chipped or gouged areas, and fill with wax; use nail polish to repair minor, superficial chips; and apply an auto-body filler to fix chew marks. Glue loose portions of veneer, or replace with a new one. Also, glue old joints, and seal any gaps with a sealant. Restore furniture appearance using wood stain or paint and varnish.Full Answer >
Almost anyone can do re-upholstery work on basic furniture pieces, such as a dining room chair's slip-seat, notes The Family Handyman. More complicated pieces, such as recliners, can require additional skills and special tools.Full Answer >
In order to disassemble IKEA furniture, either find old instruction manuals or download the manuals from the IKEA website, then follow the manuals in reverse order, removing all screws and parts in the opposite order that they were initially installed. It is important to keep track of all the parts of the furniture, and possibly relabel the furniture and hardware for future reassembly.Full Answer >
Many things can be done to protect furniture and lengthen its usable life, according to HGTV. Vacuum upholstered furniture weekly to keep dust and dirt from damaging the fabric, and flip and rotate removable cushions regularly to even out patterns of wear. Use arm caps made from identical fabric to protect chair and sofa arms. Spray-on fabric protectors protect upholstery from stains and spills. Closely follow label directions.Full Answer >