1910 victorian sofa, need advise on refinishing

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by hagardreams, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. hagardreams

    hagardreams New Member

    I hope someone out there has some good adivse on wood refinishing. I bought a 1910 victorian cameo back sofa, and stripped the stain, and have restained it. The wood is is such great shape, and the sofa is very sturdy. After about two months of working on it, I finally put on the top coat last night, and the can says to lightly sand between each coat. I did that, and since the wood is so soft, all it did was scratch it all up. I did a very small area, so its not ruined, but I was hopeing that someone here might have some good info on getting this top coat done right.
    I think the hardest thing, and why it took so long is the rose carvings on the back. I had to first wait until I had a day with less pain to work on it, then I had to go in with tooth picks and Q-tips and work on each carving. That was hard, to say the least. I just hope that someone out there can give me some advise on working with soft, and very old wood.
    I did get some help with company message boards, but have yet to find one that can help with this certain problem.
    God bless, Julie
  2. ckball

    ckball New Member

    Use 00 steel wool, not sandpaper. They also make a special sanding sponge, I like those the best.

    What kind of topcoat are you using?

    If it is oil based, let it dry for a whole day, especially if it is humid.

    After you sand it with the steel wool, take a cheescloth or a lightly moist paper towel to get all the steel wool off before doing the next coat. Depending on the product 2 coats should be enough.

    A professional restoration person would not seal it with a poly or liquid product. They are very big on tung oil or a special wax which I cannot think of right now.

    Did you take before pics? Post the after, I would love to see it. Carla
  3. hagardreams

    hagardreams New Member

    I added a picture of the sofa just after I bought it, the rose carvings, after stripping, and the fabric I am going to use when its done.
    Thanks for the advise, I think I am headed out to get the steel wool pads, and hope I can get it finished by next weekend, and start on putting everything back together.
    I saved the horse hair that was originally in the sofa, I guess who ever recovered it the first time put it back, and I think I might just keep it. Of course I am going to add new foam over it. LOL It's probably going to take sometime, with the FM pain I can only do a little at a time.
    God bless, Julie
  4. ckball

    ckball New Member

    I conmend you on the upolostery job- all those buttons,lol

    Let us know how the wood finish turn out- Carla
  5. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    I would honestly recommend not sanding between coats with such a soft wood. My take would be to stain and then do several coats of rub in urethene protector. If the finish was pretty smooth to begin with then all that sanding really is just to penetrate the stain deeper into the wood, fine for tables, tops and floors but not really so important for frames.

    Nice sofa.

    Love Anne Cromwell

    I just redid some softwood cabinets and found this worked better.
  6. mrdad

    mrdad New Member

    I like your Victorian Sofa! Seems as if you have most of
    the hard refinishing portion done. I suggest that you try
    "Minwax Antique Oil" as a final finish. You can put it on
    in "layers" with a soft lint-free cloth and it will cover
    scratches left from the sanding. Read the instructions
    carefully and do a small area at a time buffing that sect-
    when it feels tackey. As suggested, use #00 steel wool to
    smooth out existing "finish" and use the Satin Antique Oil
    to finish in layers as needed.

    Use a dry brush to buff hard to reach areas (roses etc).
    I think you will like the results!!



    I've seen them on Amazon. Com Used and Cheap!!

    Good luck,
  7. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    I am sooooooooooooooooo Jealous Its beautiful! I lived another life in the 1900's .Are you sure that's not mine? LOL

    I really love everything about that era.
  8. hagardreams

    hagardreams New Member

    I agree with you, I think I lived in that era also. I have always loved things from the victorian era, and when I first saw the movie "Somewhere in time", I still havent been able to shake that feeling. LOL!
    I have been looking on ebay for about 6 years for the right victorian sofa, at the right price. I found a couple that sold for about $150, that needed work, like mine, but at the time, I didnt have the money, or it was too far away for me to go pick up. This one showed up in May, and I claimed it from the moment it went up for auction. I was the only one that bid on it, and I got if for only $200.00. All it really needed was fabric and to be re-webbed. I just had to go all the way, and so far so good. I am still debating on the horse hair, thats some old hair, but its the idea of making it old again, at least somewhat that makes me think I should put it back.
    I have a cousin that does reupholstering for a living, so hopefully if I run into any problems, then I can count on him to give advise. I have been working on decorating my livingroom in a victorian style since the house was built in 2000. I am just so anxious to get it finished and put in the livingroom.
    Thanks again for all the advise, I have gotten better response here, than on the mixwax shop message board. Julie
  9. Notonline

    Notonline New Member

    I LOVE it, what a great find!!! Thanks for posting a picture!

    Danny : )
  10. IndianPrincess

    IndianPrincess New Member

    My boyfriend Gary was a journeyman carpenter (rehabs, schools, Cleveland Clinic Buildings, etc.) He has over 20 years experience so he knows his stuff.

    He said to sand it with 0000 grade steel wool. He said to use a hard brissle brush (NOT WIRE) from a hardware store for the fine detail of the roses.

    After sanding use a tack cloth to get the dust off.

    He also said to use Homer Formsby products!

    It is a beautiful sofa!


    [This Message was Edited on 07/23/2006]
  11. hagardreams

    hagardreams New Member

    Hello, the pictures didnt turn out really great, but at least you can see the sofa ok. I am just so anxious to have good days to be able to get going on putting it back together.
    I noticed that you do cross stitching, and part time ebay. I also do cross stitching when my hands can take it. My doctor told me to cut down on it, because it was making the pain worse, but I just take it one stitch at a time. I have also recently started selling cross stitch books on ebay. I got lucky and found a big clearence sale on them for, get this $.06 $.10 and $.20 each. These were brand new books from Hobby lobby. I have also noticed that some of the ones that are out of print that I have found at a thrift store sell really well. I only list about once or twice a week, it just hurt too bad to sit here for too long.
    If you are ever looking for any certain pattern, let me know and if I have it then maybe we can trade or something like that.
    Right now I am working on "Alan maley's Gracious Era" the gold collection. I got this one cheap. A new Michaels was opening and we got $10.00 gift cards for the first 100 people in the door, plus I had a 50% off coupon. It only cost me $6.50 total. They usually are $32.00 retail.
    take care, and let me know if you are looking for any patterns, Julie
  12. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    Your sofa is amazing, your work is beautiful and as always, the folks here can help you with just about anything.

    Great bargain too!!

    Nancy B
  13. IndianPrincess

    IndianPrincess New Member

  14. hagardreams

    hagardreams New Member

    Thanks again for all the advise. I am heading out to the garage this afternoon to get going on putting on the burlap backing, and then work on the foam. I am still debating on the original horse hair. I saved it all, it doesnt smell bad, and it still seems pretty strong to be almost 100 years old. I think the top coat worked out great, so hopefully I can get going on the other part.
    God bless, Julie
  15. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    I have some Victorian things. I collect Angels and mostly accent my home with Victorian things like paintings and lamps.I also collect carved candles from Germany. And Castles so I kinda mix it all together. Id love to own a couch like that but I wouldnt know where to find a real one.