Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How to Ruin Perfectly Good Furniture, part 1

I think this will be a helpful post, but also somewhat of a rant.  To my mind, there are 4 main ways to ruin furniture:  1) Before you apply finish, 2) When you apply a finish, 3) Caring for a finished piece and 4) Fixing a piece that has previously been finished.  I'm not going to count the nicks and bumps damage that occurs from regular use.  It happens to even our most beloved pieces and there isn't anything we can do about it except to plan for it in the robustness of our designs.
There IS one more way to ruin furniture that doesn't match directly up with the above categories and that is to purposefully damage finish or piece itself to "antique" it... ...and that is where the rant part comes in.  I don't like fake antiques.  Never have, never will.  Reproductions?  Wonderful.  Aging metal hardware?  Fine.  Banging on otherwise perfectly fine furniture to make it look worn?  HELL NO! 
If you need a particular piece to look a certain way for a play, or a movie set, or you make props for Halloween - well, those are the only exceptions I can think of.  But then, we are talking about my personal taste.  Your mileage may vary.  As you may guess, I'm not a "shabby chic" guy either, even when someone is decorating with "found" junk.
People use words like "distressed" or "layered" as euphemisms for damaging on purpose.  The above photo of a crackle finish was done on purpose!  Ugh.  Please look at this cover of a nationally circulated Woodworking Magazine.  I can't post it directly on this blog because, well; I won't do it.  Too Hideous.  It isn't even good "antiquing".  It is the poster child of what not to do, even if you like that kind of crap.  But, I do want you to see the picture so you can share my disgust.  Ok, end of rant.  I'll try to be more productive in the next installment.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

thanks for the link in the halloween reference. I agree with you though. Uggg. Although we "distress" stuff all the time in our hobby! Just last year we beat a nice wooden treasure chest I made to death with a wood chisle.