Woodworm treatment and rebuilding of an antique secretaire


The refurbishment of this Biedermeier armoire is admittedly quite an extreme example. I would like to show you what is possible with a complete restoration.

A genuine barn find!

Yes, they still exist, antiques that have lain undiscovered for years and decades in the barns, cellars or attics of this world. Unloved and untouched, they eke out a desolate existence, waiting for the day when they can be awakened from their slumber...

Restoring such furniture is always a special experience, because the before-and-after effect is gigantic.

The secretary presented here dates from the Biedermeier period around 1830 and is veneered in ash on softwood.
Over the years, the piece of furniture had been heavily attacked by woodworm, the ash veneer was extremely darkened, some handles, keys, fittings and the feet were no longer present. Jamming drawers and a "musty" smell completed the picture of this genuine barn find.


How is the woodworm killed?

There are several ways to rid a piece of furniture of woodworm.
Common methods include:
-Thermal woodworm control of the entire piece of furniture
-Area-wide control with isopropanol
-Targeted injection into the worm holes with products such as Woodworm-Ex or similar.

In this case, thermal woodworm control was the most suitable method because, on the one hand, the infestation was quite extensive and, on the other hand, poison-free deworming is of course good for people and the environment.

There are a few points to bear in mind when using the thermal method:
-The piece of furniture should be acclimatised beforehand, i.e. a barn find like this should first stand in a dry place for at least two weeks.
-The humidity in the heating chamber must remain constant at 60-70%, even when the temperature rises.
-The wood must be heated slowly (to approx. 65°C) and also cooled slowly again (depending on the type and thickness of the wood, the process can take up to 48 hours).
-The piece of furniture should be largely dismantled so that the heat can reach the individual parts from all sides.

The above points are important so that wood does not warp, veneers do not come loose and wooden joints remain stable!

What is involved in a complete restoration?

After the woodworm treatment, the actual restoration work began.
-First, the wood was freed from old varnish and stain.

Then all the necessary wood and veneer work was carried out:
- Re-gluing of the loosened veneers, repairing of missing parts
-straightening the runners so that the drawers run smoothly again
-Closing shrinkage cracks and filling wormholes
-reconstruction of missing elements, in this case the feet
-Reconstruction of handles, keys and fittings.
-Surface work using a classic shellac polish.

The final shellac polish gives the wood back its old shine and ensures that the beautiful grain of the ash wood is once again shown to its best advantage. You can find out more about the effect of a shellac polish here!
Depending on the piece of furniture and the customer's wishes, surface work can of course also be carried out using oil or wax.

The end result is an antique piece of furniture that is absolutely suitable for everyday use, with a dreamy grain pattern and a fantastic original interior.

Before

Fight woodworm

Before

Before

Before

Before

After

After

After

After

After

We would also be happy to restore your antique piece of furniture!

Simply contact us via e-mail, SMS or WhatsApp. If you send us some photos of the object to be restored, we can usually give you the approximate restoration costs based on the pictures.

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