Full Chisel Blog

July 18, 2010

A piece I restored was on Antiques Roadshow

I restored the painted and grained secretary back in 1983, made of pine it was painted to look like curly maple and burl maple with a painted walnut desk top.  It had been in her family and had a stamp ‘Saint George Builders Union’ inside the top of the secretary.  I guess I didn’t see this episode of Antiques Roadshow when it aired back in 2007, just saw it on PBS a few days ago.

Leigh Keno did the appraisal [$4500.00] and there was no mention of any restoration work which would effect the value of the piece.  The porcelain knobs were on the piece when it came in and those were left on.  The base of the table was loose and needed to be re-glued [with hide glue of course] and the top of the desk was completely repainted as the original finish was worn off.  There was enough to determine that it was a walnut graining.

There was also damage to the graining, some was flaking off and the finish was very dry.  I treated it with Moses T’s Reviver then did the infill painting of the base coat color [a light yellow oil paint] allowed that to dry and in-painted the missing grain with shellac and burnt umber pigment.  Still looks good.

I will have to dig through my slides and find the pictures when it was in the shop 24 years ago.



  1. That’s really great. Bet it took you by surprise when you saw it.

    Comment by Ken Pollard — July 18, 2010 @ 3:45 pm

  2. Ken,

    Yes, it was a good thing I was sitting down. I immediately recognized the piece and the owner. I was also surprised that Mr. Keno didn’t notice any of the restoration work. But then again, if my work goes unnoticed then I have done my job.


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — July 18, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

  3. That’s awesome. The fact that they didn’t mention any restoration issues is a real testament to your skills.

    Of course, it could also be that they really have no idea what they are doing when appraising antiques. :@)

    Comment by wilbur — July 19, 2010 @ 8:02 am

  4. The video clip is here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/archive/200602A02.html

    Comment by wilbur — July 19, 2010 @ 8:03 am

  5. But have you viewed the episode with Mr Ranleigh Johnson?

    Shay Lelegren
    Hot Dip Tin

    Comment by The Tinsmith — July 20, 2010 @ 7:18 am

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