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What should I do with this bed?

Posted by wangshan (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 23, 10 at 21:57

I got it at the salvation army..cheap.Low double digits. I even got money off because I pointed out to the manager it doesn't have side rails. It was filthy, but I was looking for a piece to paint white then glaze for my daughters "shabby chic" bedroom.
Now problem, I started working on it and it cleaned up pretty good.....too dang good to paint white. So now I must choose...either refinish it make side rails and sell it, refinish it , keep it , or bite the bullet and paint it now that I have already painted all the other pieces that are going into that room . Also does anyone have an idea how old it would be? I beleive it is walnut. The foot board has the same matchbook veneer on the facing part and the legs have ornately carved claw feet

Here is a link that might be useful: headboard


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Don't paint it!!!!!! I forget what that grain is called.....but it's lovely...and will be forever ruined if you paint it. Sell it to someone who appreciates beautiful antiques....or leave it as "real wood" and let it be the star of the bedroom....but don't paint it!


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Hard to tell from that picture, but looks like might be rosewood veneer. Like to see a picture of the whole thing. Maybe from the 20's? Agree with LindaC, don't paint it.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?again

On second look, it looks strange, like maybe the original veneer was taken off and what is showing is the cross banding or the core. Maybe that's why it was painted.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

No that wood is good stuff....not rosewood....but something else...unfortunalty I can't drag the name of it out of this old brain. Sell it if you must....but it would be a wonderful contrast to all the painted white and maybe the impetus to mature your daughter's taste beyond shabby chic.
You only need to look at the carving to know that is a good quality bed.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

It would look fine with white stuff! Just tie a white silk flower bouquet to the top if you HAVE to match.

Very pretty with the veneer mirrored (bookmatched I think?) all the way across. Attach it to a cheap metal frame. No need to get all fancy with wooden siderails which kids (as well as adults) tend to beat up anyway.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Agreeing with Fori --

It's lovely, and will look fabulous (and much more elegant) in your daughter's room. Don't worry too much about making side rails -- though really, they're not that hard to make.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Actually I think it is walnut. I cleaned and lightly sanded it and in those pics I had just wiped it down . I bought some shelac that I will clear coat it with. Well I guess it's unanimous not to paint it. I can easily make siderails with some walnut boards , buy the metal plate hook thingy online and I have a carpenter who can put them together. I can post more pics when I get home. It is full size and pretty tall...around over 5" . I can't beleive I talked the woman down to $40 for both pieces!!!


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Is it some kind of spalted wood?


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

That's the word I was looking for!

Here is a link that might be useful: spalted maple


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

It does look like that

Here is a link that might be useful: headboard with ? spalted wood


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

I have never seen spalt(ed?) maple in a veneer, but if I ever did, that's what I imagine it would look like. It's pretty hard to cut a veneer from a wood that's host to a fungus.
At first glance I thought as well that it was rosewood, because of the general color + black veining. But the curly figure in the lighter areas isn't a feature seen in palisander (rosewood in French).
The only thing "wrong" with it being maple is the ruddy tone, but perhaps it's older and more patinated than it would appear.
Casey


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

IMO the veneer, or boards, seem very informal and the carving is very formal, which makes for too much of a inconsistency. It appears inappropriate to the piece. The veneeer is bookmatched, but is in strips and that could be a characteristic of the cross banding also. The carving still looks like rosewood, but it is hard to tell if the color is true on the picture. Some more pictures would be helpful. This is my opinion, and as hedious as it may be to contemplate, I could be wr, wr, wro, wron; some others could be more right.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Wow, that is beautiful!!!!! I love the look of all white rooms with one fabulous stained piece. Lucky you.

Diane


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

From what I have heard....spalted maple is used in a thick "veneer"...like 1/4 inch or so thick...not the one MM that is normally used.
Zebra wood is another possibility...and sounding likely if the carving is rosewood.
Linda C

Here is a link that might be useful: zebra wood


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Could be so-called "satin walnut" aka gumwood. I made a coffee table out of that in high school wood shop and can post a photo of the wood if anyone really wants to be sure. The tone on the bed is a bit reddish, but that could be left over from the stain.

KarinL


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

American made furniture manufactured during this period did not use zebra wood or other exotic woods, other than rose wood, and in extreme cases maybe ebony. What happened to this bed is the face veneer probably came loose so the previous owner took it all off and painted the ground white. Spalted maple veneer is usually thick because it is generally shop sawn by a individual craftsman at home or in his shop. A very few guys, like Ruhlmann, used exotic wood but this is obivously no his. If you like the ground, by all means varnish it. Other than that, I would offer these options. 1. Get some good upholstery remnants, maybe white background with a scene, and with use of some foam, glue, and staples, upholster the headboard leaving the carving and molding plain wood. 2.Get some beautiful wallpaper, like Brunschwig & Fils, and glue it on. 3. Paint on wide stripes like off white and pink, or whatever colors you like. 4. Order some paper backed veneer (easy to work with and you don't need a veneer press like I use, and you can cut it with scissors) and reveneer.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Why do you think it's been painted before, Someone?


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Fori, I thought she had said it had been painted but I was mistaken. But take a look at the post I brought up below this post picturing a 40's bed. That's how it should look. I'd like to see a picture of the back. That would probably be the same wood as the front veneer, but of a lesser quality because it does not show. Anyway, an interesting post and I like to read what everyone thinks.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Ah okay. I was thinking you were seeing something I was missing. I'd like to see more pictures too. And then I want y'all to figure out what the darn thing is!


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Someone, how did you figure out it was American made?


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

The quality of the bed in the picture that "someone" brought up...as in posted to and brought to the top of the list of threads, is very VERY different from the quality of the bed which is the subject of this thread.
That it NOT wood that is under a veneer which has been removed.
And someone you say exotic wood is not used in furniture of this period....what period to you think this is from?


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

A good question. A look at the ornately carved feet would be helpful. I have a lot of books on furniture, mostly on making or restoring antiques, and I have seen that carved motif before. I'll look through my books and see if I can find it. Maybe there is some mark on the bed that indicates the maker. I am now looking at Diane Von Furstenberg's book "Beds" and the style looks French. In any case, I recant on my options and believe that nothing should be done until more is revealed. Again, I would like to see a picture of the claw feet. Also, there is another site on the web, where for a nominal fee, you can send a picture and a professional will give you a qualified appraisal. I think if you do a search on the web for "antique appraisal" you will find the site. If you do this, please let us know the outcome. Good post.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?again

LindaC. What period do you say it is? You say it may be spalted maple or zebra wood....I thought it was underlayment because it looked so pieced together but if not, then it is rosewood. The style is French as far as I can tell, but I need to see the legs and the whole footboard. If it does turn out to be rosewood, then it is a very nice bed and should be finished appropiately. I hope it is. Maybe the feet are french scroll.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Without seeing the feet or the footboard, I am saying 1880's....and I suppose it could be rosewood....that carving on the top is very very nicely done.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Oh holy cow I'm gonna kill myself...I agree with Linda. Well not on the zebra wood...I don't think it's zebra, but it's not an underlayment wood. The grain is bookmatched in the sections...no one would do that with underlayment wood.

The carving is quite nice. I can easily spot good verses bad, even on the net. I'd say 1880's likely as well...is rosewood ever splatted? Walnut? Mahogany? I've got several fabulous pieces in the new house in diffrent woods and bookmatched wood is the one underlying thing they have in common.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Oh, it really looks like a 1910-1930 piece, from a factory. The maple/beech/birch/gum frame, I strongly suspect, was dyed much darker mahogany color, and the "interesting" field provided a focal point.
If you use your imagination and remove the middle third (vertically) and plant the ends back together, you have the shape of a balloon-back chair. So, I would say at the heart there is a baroque (Queen Anne) shape, much stretched this way and that and crowned with a bunch of posies.
I spent about an hour last night looking at various illustrations of wood samples, and it was not quite exactly like anything; It's closest to figured red gum (the American one, not the Australian). It's a little like Macassar Ebony, but I doubt that it actually is. I have a small Paris-made harmonium from ca. 1900 that has a similar veneer. With a golden color and lots of irregular black streaks. I have been trying to figure out the wood since I bought it in 1986. I had believed that it was probably some kind of walnut with the black grain painted on with a turkey feather using india ink. But seeing this bed, maybe, maybe not. I'll try to post a harmonium photo to get someone's input.
Igloo, rosewood isn't spalted, it has the black grain streaks as it's primary feature, (plus extreme weight) and a background-porous texture. The wood in question has a tighter grain structure than rosewood.

Casey


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

OK I took pics of the back of headboard, foot, and front of footboard.

Here is a link that might be useful: old bed


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Brazilian rosewood. The one picture says it all. Not Palisander which is East Indian Rosewood but Brazilian rosewood, now an endangered species. This is a very good find and warrants being redone with special care. You can Google images of Brazilian rosewood and will see lots of examples. The colors will vary depending on the log it originated from, but this looks very nice. If you intend to refinish it yourself, you must be careful you don't sand through the veneer or loosen it with paint remover. Also, you must be careful not to mess up the carving by sanding it. My guess, if it is structurally sound, auction value somewhere around $3,000.00 or more. I stress, this is my guess.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Wow, thanks. I have been very carefull , and have not touched the carving with sandpaper. I am no expert by any means but I believe the veneer is on the thick side as it is in pretty good shape and this even tho it had an area that was burned about 20 cm diameter. That's why when I bought it I figured I could justify painting something that was obviously fire damaged. But it was really just a layer of burnt shellac I guess because it came right off with light sanding. I will probably keep it...I've kind of grown attached to it !


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

It'll look nice with your white pieces. Probably doesn't even need a white poofy bow on top!


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

If you want to finish it yourself you must put a sealer coat of dewaxed shellac on (if you use varnish). That is according to Jeff Jewitt's book "Finishing". Otherwise the oils in the rosewood will keep the varnish from drying. I don't know how the original rails were attached to the bed, but you can google Woodworkers Supply and they have hardware for several methods.
After you're done, a white poofy bow might look good.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

I did buy a set of metal rail hook plates(not sure what they're called) and a can of zinsser shellac for a finish. If I don't use varnish , will the shellac alone suffice ? Or should I look for the dewaxed stuff? I will definitely post a pic when it is all done. Might be a while because I also have to rewire the crystal chandelier I found on craigs list,too.......... then voila! a complete shabby chic bedroom !


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Yes, shellac is good. Don't need dewaxed if the total finish is shellac. Just cut the first couple of coats about 50% with denatured alcohol. Don't flood the shellac for fear of lifting the veneer. The bed deserves a fine finish and my advice would be to purchase, on line, Teri Masaschi's book, "Foolproof Wood Finishing". On pages 98 and 99 she has a good schedule for a shellac brushed on finish. Also it appears that you need to do some pre sanding on the boards that run across the bottom of the bed. Her book also explaines that.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Oh ,almost forgot. I found a very small mark..it is just 4 lines and looks like , is shaped like.. a mason's symbol..not sure if it has to do with whoever made it or not. I will take a pic when I can get some good light on it.

Here is a link that might be useful: mason symbol


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Well folks, I ended up putting a bees wax finish on ..here it is in the (mostly) finished state

Here is a link that might be useful: rosewood bed


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

That's wonderful, and I think white would have been too much white! I approve entirely.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Well....that turned out well!! Aren't you glad you didn't paint it???


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Wow! Love it, love the room.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

OH my! That cleaned up nice!


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

How pretty! And really, the whole point of shabby chic is that anything goes as long as the balance is right. I have a few darker wood pieces mixed in with my lighter furniture, though my look is more minimal or beach cottage. I would keep the bed as is, and add one other piece to the room that is also wood for balance, maybe a darker wood chair or bence or a picture with a darker wood frame.


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RE: What should I do with this bed?

Thanks ......
thanks for all the helpful suggestions. jen2006 I will think about that, altho I am trying to stay away from the second hand stores....then again.........
The crystal chandelier was another good find, and I discovered that I could actually rewire it..altho that was a little more frustrating , it also turned out well.


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