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Antique Bed Set Repair and Refinishing

Have been fixing up an antique bed set that was in bad shape. It’s probably from the late 1800′s but I could be wrong. It was originally finished with shellac which was common at the time, before the advent of lacquer and urethane based finishes. I forgot to take a before picture, normally it’s best to leave the original finish intact if possible but the finish was too far gone to salvage.


Some photos taken during restoration to show you the process.

Went ahead and stripped the finish and did a lot of cleaning to get the gunk out of the carvings which was the most time consuming part. Tightening up the headboard with clamps below.

There was also a piece of carving missing from the top of the headboard, so got out the router and chisel.  A few hours later…

After lots of sanding, stained everything with a walnut stain.

The one unforeseen problem was that the bed is slightly smaller than standard sizes now. So had to lengthen the rails by a couple of inches. The original rails were 70 inches long and 50 inches wide, which doesn’t take a standard three quater mattress (48 by 75). Ended up extending the rails to 75″ and getting a custom mattress and box-spring.

The finished pieces installed at the client’s house.

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