I picked up these two nightstands/end tables while I was going through an indiscriminate collection phase. Indiscriminate because potential pieces at basement prices don’t seem to come up too often in my area so I tried to get a hold of anything I could and figure out its potential later. The seller explained that her mother got them in the 60s second hand even then, so they are old, but I’m not sure how old. They showed it. In fact, when I finally pulled these out of my stash, I thought that I had bitten off more than I could chew. I figured that even if I couldn’t get these to where I wanted them, it would at least be a good learning experience in repair work, of which I have little.
Detail work was damaged and missing in some sections, the veneer was water damaged and pulling up. One table had been refinished with a heavy coating of a topcoat (but I’m not sure if it was shellac, lacquer, polyurethane) but the damage to it had not been addressed and so that damage was simply cemented in. The other one in its original finish had more damage but was easier to repair, although this would come back and bite me later in the process.
Eek, pretty bad, right! So much of the veneer was pulling up on one of the shelves I decided to remove that whole panel of veneer, but it meant that I could patch the veneer elsewhere where entire removal wasn’t possible, like on the top.
I’m really proud of how the veneer patches turned out! Using a utility knife I cut around the damaged portions in straight lines, traced the shape onto a piece of paper to make a template, then used that to cut out a matching piece with the salvaged veneer scraps. Wood glue, clamps, wood putty, and lots of sanding make a seamless repair.
The drawer interiors were pretty funky. Stickers, sticky stuff, damage to the veneer from the sticky stuff…you see where I’m going with this. But once clean, I covered the drawer bottoms with a fabric from my stash.
I decided to use the original knobs. I like the metallic element they add, and I even daubed gold paint onto the red portion of the design.
It was a marathon project but I’m glad I stuck with it!