When you want to refinish old wooden furniture, the best place to look is the family storeroom: Check the attic, basement, garage, or wherever unwanted furniture has collected.You may also discover a real antique or two -- pieces handed down through the family for generations.Queen Anne, 1720-1760: Evolution of this design style is from Queen Anne’s court, 1702 to 1714, and lasted until the Revolution.This style of furniture is much more delicate than its predecessor.“The basic rule of thumb is, if the piece was made before 1850, you want to do some homework on whether it should be conserved rather than restored—meaning to preserve and stabilize the piece as it is now,” she says.“If it’s been in the family a while, it’s worth finding out before you do some damage.” To muddy the waters a bit, there are some more recent pieces by prominent makers—for example, from the Art Deco and Arts and Crafts periods (shown in the photo below) — that command high prices and shouldn’t be touched.Other good sources are secondhand stores, household auctions, and garage sales.With furniture, as with anything else, one person's junk is another another's treasure.
I will use a hypothetical example of a chair; once built to exacting standards to copy the original, it is dismantled and each component is burned over an open fire to imitate wear.
The char is then removed and bleached to remove every trace of carbon.
The chair is reassembled and presented with a thin coat of black paint.
Real antiques and many reproductions are extremely valuable, but there are also many imitations.
If you aren't sure an antique is really antique, pay for an expert opinion.
Woods tend to be maple, walnut, white pine or southern yellow pine.