Why Can’t I DIY?
Once you’ve decided to re-use, re-purpose, and restore these meaningful pieces, who can blame you for wanting to do the dirty work yourselves?! Just turn on cable TV any Saturday and Sunday morning and hear the call of the workshop! You can smell that stain, hear the woosh-woosh of sandpaper and swell with pride as you compare your “before” with your “after”! Ow… what’s that? A splinter? Why didn’t anyone say it would take 5 hours of continual hand-sanding to get to the point where you could actually begin to stain that table?! What kind of glue did they say to use? How long does it have to dry? Why doesn’t that chair look straight? It’s 11.30pm on Sunday night, and you’ve got a breakfast meeting with a key client at 7.30am. You need to look sharp. But you can’t leave the garage/living room/kitchen like this… It looks like a tornado hit it! So you pack everything up, store it away, and that’s when the resistance sets in. Pretty soon you’re back in the car, headed for the discount store.
Of course there are some of you for whom DIY is a treasured hobby, and we’re the last to try to talk you out of it. But for the rest of you, the ones who are looking to revitalize and enjoy a lost treasure, you need to collaborate with a restoration professional – someone who knows what questions to ask, what techniques are appropriate, how to preserve and in some cases enhance the integrity of a piece. After all, you wouldn’t dream of allowing your firm’s most junior partner to woo your key client on Monday morning.
The photo below is an occasional table that we put together from a salvaged dining table. The scrolled pieces were the pedestal legs which we turned upside down. All the parts in this table were cut down from the original wreck. This is just an example of what can be done by a professional. Do not try this at home.