Thursday, March 8, 2012

Close to completion on the Heywood Wakefield M524 dresser, couple of Knoll chairs?, and a bit of DIY advise on over staining...

First up is our current progress on our Heywood Wakefield M524 dresser. All but done with the last of 4 coats going down this evening. All that's left is the reassembly process, probably tonight or I may give it a day to cure out a bit. The weather here has been kind to my refinishing efforts with nice temps and reasonably low humidity for Florida. Absolutely the best time of the year for tourists and for me to expedite projects!

Started here:

Well no, we didn't actually start here, and you are welcome to take a look at the start of the project on older posts. This is how our new beauty looks with all her former "clothes" removed. Nice clean pallete with few if any flaws. I love a challenge, but appreciate not having to go the extra mile sometimes! I have pics of all the coats going on, but they seem a bit redundant so I'll just give you the finals before reassembly....

I have more than a few hours time buffing with the 0000 steel wool between each coat but if you want something done right, you just have to put in the time! I'll get some good after pics up when it's reassembled and photo worthy...and in the daytime!

Next up are a couple of Eero Saarinen Knoll side chairs that were consigned from none other than our landlord! He's a lawyer by day and a very good artist in his own right on his time. Still can't get my head around that whole concept, but he has good taste! Here are the chairs we took in for consignment...

I just know that these have been recovered and it really bugs me that whoever did these didn't reattach the original labels. Looking at the construction, I would definetely say these are Knoll  pieces, but without some attribtion I have no way of marketing as the real deal! I would never sand off a H/W stamp on pieces I refinish, so why would an upholsterer remove a makers tag and not re-attach?
Feel free to comment with your input as to their authenticity! Not in the best of shape, and I might consider having the bases re-chromed if they belonged to me...

Lastly, we are offering a bit of DIY advise on your thrift store picks that may need a little TLC. I know a lot of individuals out there that follow my posts are interested in bringing their pieces a new life and many can't afford to have their pieces redone. Here's a little teaser on a recently acquired MCM dining room table and chairs that are in the works.

We recently acquired 4 of these modest little chairs along with the matching table from an aquaintance that was moving out of state. Table is nothing too special but the chairs have some nice lines and the set it definetely worth bring back up to speed. All the chairs had loose joint issues but a little glue, some clamping and the trusty brad nailer I had them all tight and ready for some major cleaning. A few more hours with some 0000 steel wool and mineral spirits to cut most of the built up grime and we are ready to pretty them up. These were well past the point of just going over with some Restor-A-Finish. You actually need some finish to work with, and these were missing finish in too many areas. At this point the fastest and easiest fix is to over stain the pieces with a fresh coat of Early American stain and top coat with a satin lacquer. Stain is on and in the drying process...

And those seats really need some help as well. How boring... The drawback to overstaining is the extended wait time for the stain to dry. Often it takes a couple of days before you can shoot. Still a lot less work than completely stripping and starting from scratch. It won't cure all the issues but certainly brings the pieces back to a respectable condition. More pics to come when we have finished!
Thanks as usual for taking a look... 


  1. The chairs you think might be Knoll are really cool-looking. I have a Knoll dining table and a small Knoll side table. (Both are Eero Saarinen designs.) Mine are official Knoll reproductions, though, not vintage. Love their stuff.

    Lee Ann

    1. Even without the tag I'm almost 100% sure these are vintage Knolls. The construction is great and they have some weight to them for their size...

  2. We've found a bunch of Saarinen chairs lately. Like your consignment pieces. As always, I'm so impressed with your refinishing work.

    1. Thanks Dana, I just had a customer drop off a H/W "Cadence dresser for me to refinish but in a stain that closely resembles the original "Sable" finish. They had asked for a quote on both their dresser and chest but decided to do them selves to save some money. After 3-4 weeks of working on their chest, they decided it might be more cost effective for me to do the dresser :) They also have a wishbone table and 8 chairs that they have asked me to refinish, so I'll be busier than usual for awhile!!