Baker Furniture Mahogany Breakfront

forestwenchJune 19, 2010

First - I have no knowledge of antiques and this would be my first refinish job. onward...

Someone gave me this piece of furniture. It has been painted, many times and after much debate, I decided I didn't have the time to refinish it and decided to sell it on CR ( in fact, it's on there now), splitting whatever profit with the person who gave it to me.

I did scrape off some paint and found a chinois gold scroll paint job over the mahogany factory finish. It does have the Baker Furniture metal tag inside.

I did some web searching and came up with the link below

This is the cabinet. Now I am thinking this might be something to keep, rather then sell quickly. Not because of the price - mine has solid wood shelves and I am not sure what condition the mahogany is in, but because it is a handsome piece in it's original condition.

So my question to whomever is still with it worth refinishing?

Also - does anyone know of any site or book that would show past Baker lines and the options they came in? I did email the company, but I don't know whether to have much faith in that.

I contacted a local antique dealer and they were not interested, so I guess I would need a furniture expert.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Here is a link that might be useful: Baker Mahogany Cabinet

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You might want to practice on a chair or something before you try a piece that size. Also, there might be major repair work that needs to be done under those paint jobs. If someone were to have the time and ability for this major undertaking, then it might be worth the effort. Best case scenerio; the paint washes off with a little paint thinner leaving the original finish intact. Unfortunately, most of the time, something like this is painted to cover up damage and you might have to be skilled in veneer repair and skilled in refinishing. That's why your antique guy isn't interested.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 6:32AM
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It will be a huge task....but, to me, It would be worth it.
No it's not an antique, that's a reason why your antiques dealer friend wasn't interested....and he may not have space to display such a piece if it is refinished.
Likely the only place there might be veneer is on the door fronts and perhaps the sides. Surely your fingers can tell if there is any missing...even with coats of paint.
Start small....take the doors off and get to work on them...try gentle scraping...that chinoiserie scroll may have been original to the piece.
Have fun....don't try to do it all in one week....but make it a year's project.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 10:19AM
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Please let us know what you decide to do and the condition of the piece under the paint (if the veneer is still intact and the original finish still good). Another question if you have time. Ask the antique dealer why he isn't interested?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 5:03PM
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I've stripped a fair bit of paint and Linda is not far off to say this is a year's project. There will be many many hours involved and a lot of mess. Thus, whatever you earn on it will not be profit, but a very meagre compensation for your time. So, don't do this for the money.

(barring the small chance that it is really in pristine condition under the paint and that you can restore it to that and find a buyer at that price - read some threads on the old house forum about paint strippers and choose your method carefully).

But given the real likelihood that this will be time not compensated, my questions to you would be (a) do you like or want to keep the piece? and (b) do you have the time to give to the project? If not, just sell it as is to someone who does, and move on with your life.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 12:21PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I would be very cautious. Even if, there is veneer "only" on the doors and sides, those are the most noticeable areas. I think Karin's questions to ask yourself are good ones.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 1:54PM
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Thank you all for your very good suggestions. No - I do not have the time to invest into this piece. I would love to say I do, but it would be another projest added to the list and we are in the process of renovating an 1885 house. I am the type to think, well maybe someday...but I have to be honest and realistic. I do not have a safe place to store it while we are painting, finishing floors, etc.

Condition - to my eye, it looks pretty good. No gauges, or big dents, scratches, etc. Everything I found out about, seems this is solid mahogany, not veneer, though the doors might be.

I did write Baker and have to send them pics for their archivist to date and give me info on the piece.
Antique dealers - well I only spoke to 2, one being a small items dealer, so he was out and the other, I think it was too much of an project for him. I did ask if he knew of anyone who loved to refinish furniture, but he came up with no one. I found a refinisher on my own, but now that I have done the research on this piece, I know he didn't know what he was looking at.

Ok - on to the next phase. I would gladly give this piece to someone who was interested. Since I don't frequent any sites about refinising, etc, do you all have any suggestions as to where I might list this? I am in northern NJ - if you know of anyone. CL got no response, so maybe I had it listed wrong or in the wrong place. It would be great to get some bucks for it, but if it was going to ahappy home, it isn't important.

I have to get pics up on the web and I can post if anyone wants me to.

Thanks again. I am not on line everyday, so sorry about the delay getting back to you all.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 8:50AM
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Post pictures when you can....perhaps someone will see it.
Even in painted condition it ought to be worth a thousand. Professionally refinshed...maybe 4K?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 10:08AM
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Not worth the trouble in my opinion

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 10:33AM
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