Corner Unit Reincarnation – Restoration Profile

Solid Pine Country Corner Unit Restoration by Artisans of the Valley - CompletedTypical of the restoration candidates that make their way into our shop this corner unit was shy of mint condition on arrival. It was incredibly dry, the back was loose, the doors loose, panels falling out. The paint was flaking and deteriorated, finish was almost gone and just dirt and grime covering the piece. Pieces like this are often plucked from demolition projects, they can often be found in reclamation yards or auctions when a house is about to be torn down.

This corner unit was originally a built-in, a very common practice in the 19th century into the turn of the 20th century. The units were wrapped into the home using crown and base moldings and side fillers to ensure a custom fit. These moldings are most often lost or damaged when the unit is removed. Nothing stops the next owner from building in the piece, but in modern times these are most often destined to be a free standing furniture. Thus – feet were required. The crown and side moldings were shot and missing. Everything in general was just in bad shape.

Artisans does not make a general practice of modifying furniture, as the usual net result of random changes from the original design does not usually lead to a proper piece of furniture. These cases are exceptions, as the premise is really a restoration and not a modification of function we’re simply adding the missing feet and crown. Solid Pine Country Corner Unit Restoration by Artisans of the Valley - Before ImagesSo the process is the same as with most restorations – break it down as you can so you can cleanly remove the old finish and paint. Then rebuild and reassemble it with fresh adhesive and appropriate fasteners. The net result was a fully restructured and stabilized unit.

New feet, crown molding, and side moldings were fabricated. The unit was then painted inside with milk paint and sealed with oil based paint over the milk paint. Finish is natural Waterlox tung oil varnish.

Solid Pine Country Corner Unit Restoration by Artisans of the Valley - Before ImagesWe also had all the glass reset with new glazing (by a glass company I hate doing glazing!) … Cleaning up and oiling the hinges, putting in new screws to mount them and adding proper knobs finished off the project.

All said and done this was a good green project – reclaiming an otherwise landfill destined corner unit that became fully functional free standing country furniture. The piece is entirely antique pine – including the replacement moldings and components.

Solid Pine Country Corner Unit Restoration by Artisans of the Valley - Before ImagesSolid Pine Country Corner Unit Restoration by Artisans of the Valley - Completed

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