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If it has only a few dovetail joints, with pins narrower than the dovetails, then the joint was made by hand.
When you want to refinish old wooden furniture, the best place to look is the family storeroom: Check the attic, basement, garage, or wherever unwanted furniture has collected.
One of my early mentors in detecting the genuine in furniture once told me that to him patina was just another name for complexion.
The quality of it on old furniture depends on the care a particular piece has had over the years.
If you suspect there’s something unusual or distinctively well-made about your piece, go with your gut, Masaschi says, and ask someone who knows.
They can add value to the piece and they make it much easier to move the chair from one place to another.
Moreover, there are no cosmetics for new wood that can in any way simulate that soft glow that is one of the distinctive features of furniture made over a century or more ago. American antique furniture with these attributes is not yet so scarce.
It's easy to spot an antique by the drawers, because joints weren't machine-cut until about 1860.
If you have a worn old dresser or rickety heirloom chair on your hands, you may be thinking of refinishing it yourself.
Older mass-produced pieces whose origins fall somewhere between 18 are ideal candidates for refinishing.