February 22, 2020 - Antiques, Art and Collectibles
Getting grandma’s old dresser into shape is actually pretty easy. You can also get a nice price for an antique.
If you need to do a few repairs and are not sure how to fix a drawer or make other improvements, then here are a few tips to get you started.
The drawers on an old wooden dresser can get off their runner, the wood can split or swell and make the drawer difficult to slide in and out.
Try to fix parts of the drawer before you make a choice to replace them. The dresser in its original form will fetch more money. Although there are some collectors that prefer to find the dresser slightly damaged, rather than repaired.
Look for splits in the wood or spots where there has been moisture damage. If the drawer sticks to the framework, try sanding it down.
You will be able to see where it’s rubbing, as the wood will be lighter or shiny. Use a fine sandpaper and gently sand down the areas that are rubbing. Work in intervals to keep trying the drawer.
Once you have it fitting and sliding, put a bit of furniture wax on the parts that slide. There are many kinds of wax but candle wax or paraffin wax will work fine.
If the crack or split isn’t too bad, you can try to fix it yourself. Get some wood glue and fill in the crack. Place a clamp on it to hold it while it dries. Wipe off any excess glue before it hardens.
There are fillers for wood splits or larger cracks. If it’s the front panel that’s lifted, then you can use the wood glue and the clamp to repair it.
The runners in old antique dressers are often wood or wood and metal. If they are not too badly damaged, try to repair them before you replace them. There are also the side slides where the drawer fits in that may have damage, as well.
The slides on the side are easier to assess. A bit of sanding down and some furniture oil or wax will often do the trick.
The runner may have splits, cracks or pieces missing. Try to sand down the rough spots and use your wood glue to repair what you can. If you need to replace the runner, consider having a piece made from wood, to retain the authenticity of the piece.
Antiques can get a nice price, even if they are not in mint condition. If you know how to fix a drawer and have the tools, then it’s an easy DIY project.
If the damage is extensive or you are not handy, ask an expert to take a look at it. There may be a few repairs they can do to get you a better price. Looking for more advice? Keep reading here for more.
David Stiebel is one of the cofounders of PawnGuru. David was educated at MIT, where he studied Math. He subsequently worked at Bain as a data scientist before starting PawnGuru in 2015. He started PawnGuru to build a better tool for pawn shops and consumers to connect.More Articles