One of my hobbies is the restoration of antiques. I have
been doing this for more than 10 years, strictly as a hobby. I do not sell
My wife finds old things in bad condition for low prices and
I restore them to nice condition. This gives me something to do, it makes my
wife happy, and the resulting pieces have considerably more value than they did
before I got them. This is a win-win situation.
I have just completed a 1923 vintage ice box made of oak. It
looks exactly like the one I remember in my mother’s kitchen back in the
Here is a picture of it when I brought it home. We had to
pay $75 for this raggedy looking thing.
It had been painted white, and then some industrious soul
had decided to refinish it, but was not up to the task. Unfortunately they had
used sandpaper, which is a no-no on antiques because it destroys any patina
that might have been on the piece. But now I had no choice but to follow what
had been started.
One of my favorite tools for working heavy objects like this
ice box is a hydraulic lift table that I got from an auto supply house. It
really saves my back!
Here is a picture of the back of the icebox.
I used a cabinet scraper to remove most of the paint. I
reserved the sandpaper for a final cleanup of the surface. Notice the dental
tool in the picture. I use that to remove any paint that remains in a hole or
Once the old finish had been completely removed, I gave all
the wood surfaces as many coats of Boiled Linseed Oil as the wood could absorb.
Then I waited a couple of days for that linseed oil to cure.