Refinishing Antique Hardware & Removing Veneer

A reader recently e-mailed me, asking how I refinished the hardware on my pieces.  I thought it was a good question, so here is a little tutorial on how to do it.  I'll also share my method for removing veneer.

Here is the product I use.  It's a gilding wax, made by Annie Sloan.  You can purchase it at any retail location that sells her paints.

My favourite one is the silver gilding wax - however, there are many colour options.  I also have a bronze-coloured one.

Here is my hardware, before.

I simply dip my finger in the wax (it has the texture of lip balm)

And rub it on the hardware.

You can also use a paint brush, if you want to completely cover the piece.  I prefer the dark lines to show through, so I don't put the wax in all the crevices.  It really gives the hardware a new life.

I've used it on many pieces.  Here are a few...

 I find the gilding wax makes the piece fresh and modern, while still maintaining its antique charm.

Here's the latest piece Mark found on the side of the road.

I want to strip it down, and transfer a french graphic on the unstained wood  Some of the veneer stripped right off, but a lot of it was stuck.  I pulled out my iron, a bowl of water, an old cloth, and a scraper. 

First, I saturated the wood in water.  I place the soaking-wet cloth on it, and let it soak for a few minutes.  The purpose is the get the veneer as wet at possible.

Then I wet the cloth again, and placed my very-hot iron on it.  I didn't move the iron around - simple pressed down firmly in one spot for about 30 seconds.  (I made sure that I wasn't starting a small fire in my backyard by periodically moving the iron and checking underneath)

It'll be a steamy, sizzling party!

The iron had all brown stuff on it when I was done - but it was easily removed with some soap and steel wool.

The purpose is to melt the glue that is holding the veneer to the piece.  When the 30 seconds was up, I took my scraper, and the veneer peeled right off.

Hopefully those tutorials help.  I'm excited to share the end result.

This week we got hit with the flu, so I'm a little behind on projects.  Last week my Oma took me and the girls to McDonalds for lunch.  The girls are such good eaters and ate their entire happy meals.  I had one of the new signature wraps, and Oma had a hamburger, without the bun, on a rice cake, since  she's gluten-free.  It didn't look very tasty, but in the process I learned something interested. The chicken burgers have like, 50 ingredients in them, but the hamburgers are 100% Canadian beef.  I wouldn't have expected that at all!

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  1. I can't believe the pieces you find on the side of the road. So Lucky (Blessed)!

    1. It's Mark - he's the one with the eagle eye!

  2. Thanks for sharing your tips, it's appreciated!

  3. Thank you for sharing both articles, I asked about the wax or process and I'm so happy you shared a photo of the actual jar of wax. I've asked at a few places, but have not yet found the same thing. I have two more places to check, then I'll go on line I guess. Thanks again..

  4. I would be in heaven if I found a piece or pieces like your husband keeps finding on the sides of roads. You share such wonderful advice.

    Thank you!

  5. I need to start following your husband around, lol! Beautiful work as always Jen!