Painted Antique Mantle Restoration Transformation

This 100+ year old solid walnut wood antique mantle was brought to us by a customer hoping we could restore this stately piece to its original glory for display in their recently renovated Denver home.

When it came to us, it was covered in layers of peeling white paint and was broken in many places.

We stripped the paint (this was no walk in the park), sanded it, repaired or replaced the broken parts, oiled it and finished it with a slight gloss finish per our customers request to match the other wood trims in their home.

This restoration transformation is truly stunning.

Contact us if you have a project like this we can restore for you!

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- T U T O R I A L - Replace Mid Century Chair Webbing

We put together a quick tutorial on how to replace pirelli rubber webbing found on most mid century furniture.

Often you will find these chairs were repaired at some point using burlap, but when possible, we aim to repair using materials originally used in the construction of the items we work on. The pirelli rubber webbing is also much more flexible and comfortable than the burlap.

Stripping Paint From Antiques - 1880's Walnut Closet Faces

Ever wonder what’s underneath those layers of white paint covering our beloved antiques and wooden architectural home moldings? What you find may surprise you.

The result of the paint stripping process can often reveal beautiful grain and highly unique character of the wood beneath, previously sacrificed to decades of shabby chic paint trends. Now don’t get us wrong, there are times when painting furniture is acceptable. Certain lower value vintage items are ripe for a good updated trendy paint job! But keep in mind, if you must paint a furniture item, please avoid most antiques, high end designer pieces, or furniture hand made from solid wood.

And if you’re still intent on painting, consider having a professional do so. We have a shop capable of doing this the proper way to ensure the least damage is done to the wood as possible. We do tend to be picky with the painting projects we accept and can help advise you on the matter.

Now, on to the project below.

A customer from Wyoming brought us these exceptional closet faces circa 1880 he sourced from Philadelphia and aren’t we glad they ended up in our hands! He asked us to strip the paint and prep sand these bad boys.

Check out the before and after transformation below.

As you can see, these closet faces were covered in a variety of different paint colors before we got our hands on them.

As you can see, these closet faces were covered in a variety of different paint colors before we got our hands on them.

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This project was highly labor intensive. It involved chemical stripping in the tank as well as by hand. We also carefully sanded all the nooks and crannies of each crevice and carving by hand.

We no longer have feeling in our fingertips but would you look at what was hiding under all that paint!

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We are happy with the end result. The feeling of satisfaction and joy we receive in seeing projects such as these restored full circle, is what this line of work is all about.

Top 10 Furniture Restoration Projects of 2018

2018 was a big year for us here at Kin Furniture Co.

In May 2018, after stumbling across the perfect warehouse space by accident, we moved our company to Denver CO, and dove head first into growing our business within a new big city. This meant long work hours, immersing ourselves into a new city business network, studying the art of marketing magic, learning to communicate well as both siblings and now business partners (which did not come without hard intentional work!) and of course, engaging in those monthly dreamcasting meetings where we allowed ourselves to dream big while also assessing issues and creating new growth strategies.

We somehow were able to do all this while also keeping up with customer projects!

Here are a few of our favorite furniture restoration projects from 2018.

  1. Mid century dresser designed by John Keal.

    We did a full refinish to get rid of the old yellowing finish and surface scratches and polished those groovy brass pulls.

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Scroll to see the before photos of this project.

2. Pair of mid century teak Danish designed lounge chairs.

We did a full restoration on this pair of danish mid century teak lounge chairs that included replacing the loop springs. See our tutorial video here.

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Scroll to see the before photos of this project.

3. Art Deco vanity

Here’s another restoration that included a full refinish, polishing of those beautiful orange bakelite knobs and new glass. We believe these art deco vanities will come back on trend within the next few years and hopefully we will see a few more in the shop. Art Deco vanities often vary slightly in their design and some of the more simple ones blend well within both masculine and feminine design environments.

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Scroll to see the before photos of this project.

4. Mission style quarter sawn oak antique rocker.

Quarter sawn oak furniture is a favorite of ours here at Kin Furniture Co. Our father was a collector of furniture made of this beautiful striped looking wood during our childhood so we are a bit bias. The simple, rectangular angles of the mission furniture style is also pretty hard to dislike in general.

Our restoration included cleaning, re-gluing of the joints, sanding, a good deep oiling to get those ray flecks to shine and new seat cover upholstery in a sleek black leather.

SWOON!

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Scroll to see the before photos of this project.

5. Massachusetts governor’s chair from 1953.

Ouch! This stately chair was brought to us in need of some immediate medical attention.

These 2 broken legs were restored to the best of our creative ability by our in house break repair medic, Jake. This chair has a bit of a historic story. It was given to the then Governor of Massachusetts, Christian A. Herter, as an inauguration gift in 1953. Happy to see this beauty all stiched up and her history preserved!

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Scroll to see the before photos of this project.

6. Secretary desk circa 1770’s.

One of the best parts of furniture restoration is having the opportunity to preserve some very old antiques.

Here we did a restoration to this antique secretary desk circa 1770. That's about 250 years old. Our customer brought this family heirloom to us for some repairs due to shrinkage over time. 

We did our best to ensure this antique was repaired properly while also respecting the beauty and character brought by it's old age.

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Notice the ink stains in the drawer from the use of an inkwell for writing.

And that 250 year old key is beautiful!

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Scroll to see the before photos of this project.

7. Solid Maple Dining Table Set

This dining table set refinish project was a stunning transformation. The table top was covered in surface scratches and scrapes and the finish had begun to peel. It had also darkened to a deep yellow over time, which of course wasn’t too pleasing to the eye.

We did a complete refinish on the table and chairs to reveal the true color of that beautiful bright maple. All those surface scratches were sanded away and a new matte coat of finish topped it all off.

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Scroll to see the before photos of this project.

8. Milo Baughman Credenza

This mid century Milo Baughman credenza repair made it on our list simply due to how beautiful it is.

We did some minor repair and touch up to some chipped veneer.

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Scroll to see the before photos of this project.

9. Depression Era chest of drawers.

This customer brought us a few family heirloom pieces that belonged to his grandfather. We particularly enjoy projects that involve restoring and preserving the stories held within family heirlooms. We did a full refinish to this handsome dresser and are glad to see it ready for another generation of use.

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Scroll to see the before photos of this project.

10 - Asian Coffee Table.

We did a complete refinish on this piece. It was in pretty bad shape when it was brought to us. There were quite a few water marks, scratches and what seemed to be a textile imprint.

We got it looking good as new!

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Scroll to see the before photos of this project.

On to 2019!

Windsor Chair Repair

As most furniture repair-people know, the “bow back” crest rail of a Windsor style chair is no walk-in-the-park to replace. Often the replacement takes time and a technique that, although manageable, is not the most prudent. The replacement of such a piece requires a process that is not always convenient for both repair-person and client. In such cases, we lean on our woodworking skills to facilitate a proper and long-lasting repair.

This repair requires a little bit of everything in our bag of restoration tricks, from proper wood species and grain selection, to hand skills like chiseling and shaping. Here we used twin “scarf joints” along the front and back of the broken crest. This technique allows for the wedged tenon (the round dowel) to remain visible, as it is one of the hallmarks of fine Windsor furniture. Additionally, we add hidden dowels within the patch to bolster the stability in an area of the chair that endures the most tension.

Once shaped and sanded, the process comes to a conclusion with a few minor touchups to ensure the color match is nearly perfect. It is then topped off by a finish that matches the original, which in this case a oil and varnish blend.

A final polish on the remainder of the chair helps integrate the new repair, as well as livens up the old piece of furniture. There is little we enjoy more than making sure furniture like this gets a second chance at comfortably seating its patrons without fear of collapse.

Here is a short video of the repair process.

We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed fixing it. Thank you!

Mid Century Furniture Loop Spring Replacement Tutorial

We put together our first tutorial video on our new Youtube channel.

A customer asked us to replace the loop springs on his Danish mid century matching lounge chairs. These springs are not easy to find and, according to our research, are not made or sold in the US. We ordered the exper spring from a company in the UK and had them shipped to our shop here in Denver for Jake to replace.

You don’t see this loop spring construction very often and when they need to be replaced, there isn’t much help or knowledge out there in how to do it so we decided to make a tutorial ourselves.

Hope it helps!

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to our youtube channel!


Existing Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

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Check out this before and after kitchen cabinet makeover we did in Ft. Collins, Colorado!

Here at Kin Furniture Co. we specialize in the restoration, repair, or refinishing of any wood-built structure, including kitchen cabinetry.

For this project, we worked with a local Ft. Collins home renovation contractor who was remodeling this home to update the existing cabinets in this kitchen for a stunning before and after renovation

Our work included:

  • a custom built-in cabinet for the fridge
  • new cabinet hardware installation
  • stripping old finish and spraying cabinets with a modern blue-grey paint
  • assuring all door and cabinet mechanisms opened and closed smoothly

In some cases, having your existing cabinets renovated and updated is a huge cost saver for an entire kitchen makeover.

Let us know if you're planning to update your kitchen, we may be able to help save you money by reviving what you already have.

Get a kitchen cabinet QUOTE.

Kin has expanded!

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We had dreamt for several years about creating a legacy together that would make our ancestors proud. Now it is official, our family business has become an even more vivid reality as we've added our sister, Hannah as co-owner. The word Kin in our name has never been trivial in use as we truly believe in the unbreakable bonds of family and blood. We are honored to evolve from a duo into a trinity.

In addition to adding our sister, we have moved the business to Denver!

By a serendipitous twist of fate, we found a retiring restoration shop and have since decided to move our operation from Ft. Collins to Denver to pursue new opportunities in the furniture restoration and repair market in Colorado.

We cannot wait to make this shop our own and continue to build out our business and hit our goals here within this new city of Denver.

Now, for some introductions!

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Sam

In 2011, on a whim and with a bit of fortuity, Sam founded Kin Woodcraft (now Kin Furniture Co.) along side his brother Jacob.

 

Sam's first steps in the industry were taken in his father's upholstery shop. There he learned the hard knocks of the trade by pulling staples and stripping upholstery while sacrificing the cleanliness of his hands to the benefit of the client.  He became more sure footed in his abilities after his mentorship at a commercial finishing and antique restoration shop in Northern Colorado. After that, a dedication to managing a notable restoration shop was the sharpening he and his brother needed to go out on their own.

Never being one to settle for mediocrity, Sam has always had a pension for seeing where improvement may lie. With efficiency and a work experience free from frustration as his goal, managing the workings of the shop is a role that suites him well.

It is his hope that the Kin team can create an environment in which the craftsmen enjoy their days at work as much as they do at their homes, and a feeling that our customers enjoy us as much as they do our work!

Sam's  favorite furniture was made by the Shakers, a group of communal Christians founded in the 18th century who were known for their simple designs but uncompromising quality. The furniture was made from local woods and almost entirely unadorned.

When pulled by outdoor forces from the shop he loves, you can find him slipping on river stones having his go at large trout! Freedom is his driver, until then, he waits his turn to see the world.

He really loves his mother... and cheese.

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Jacob

younger brother to Sam and co-founder of Kin Furniture Co.

With a childhood intrigue for story telling and talent for artistic workmanship Jake always needed a creative outlet. So, after high school, he followed in his brother's footsteps and got a job a local refinishing shop in his hometown. It was in that shop that he developed a deeper passion for the repair and restoration of furniture and the countless stories held within them. In those years he was moved by the reverence many people held for their furniture and he became driven by the desire to uphold the various familial legacies that came his way.

He and Sam have worked together for the entirety of their decade-long careers. Together they have developed a unified vision around the preservation of the story as well as the craftsmanship behind something that almost all human beings on earth place value on, their furniture.

Jake's favorite style of furniture is the Windsor style, mostly because of its simple elegant design, but also because they are typically comfy as hell.

Either at work or outside, you'll find him day dreaming, riding along through his own imagination or reading the works of others. As a lover of earth and space he can also be found rock climbing, writing, or occasionally playing music and singing.

He also loves his mother… and some anime and sweets…

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Hannah

older sister of Sam and Jake. She joined Kin Furniture Co as co-owner in May 2018

Hannah will be doing marketing and advertising for Kin. In addition, she will be Kin Furniture Co's resident "furniture picker" to find those treasured pieces at estate sales, antique shops, and yard sales to bring back for some refinishing love and hopefully a good sale!
Hannah's appreciation and love for furniture and interior design was evident even as a small child, always designing and decorating her spaces to her comfort and liking. This affinity for interiors lead Hannah to help fully design and build her own home at the ripe old age of 27.

In addition to having an eye for space and design, Hannah has been a professional photographer for 12 years,  first as a wedding/portrait photographer, then moving into commercial photography working with many brands to help create vibrant creative visual content.
Collaborating with her brothers now with Kin Furniture Co. is a new exciting venture into the furniture industry.

Hannah's favorite furniture style is a tie between Art Deco and Eastlake Victorian. "Art Deco waterfall designs are so lovely and elegant to me but I swoon for those Eastlake geometic leaves and florals."
When Hannah isn't at the Kin Furniture shop, you can find her singing on her front porch, making her rounds at local estate sales or vintage shops, or at any local music show.

She loves her mother, and her daughter and pinot grigio.

(BROTHERS) an introduction

Sam on the left and me Jacob, the other guy.

Sam on the left and me Jacob, the other guy.

Sam and I met in late winter back in 1990 when I first drew breath. A moment when his calm and collected demeanor would be shaken to its core and forever be tested by the madness of a little brother. 

Since that day the two of us have spent more time around one another than most other siblings could fathom. We shared friends and mischief growing up as well as innumerable altercations. The perpetual competition between us that often led to bitterness and frustration toward one another is likely what most families could relate to. Most siblings couldn't imagine the thought of working together, even if it meant a future brimming with contentment. 

While that sort of pessimism may be second nature for most people, it happens to be a mountain my brother and I climbed long ago and have since willingly descended together into a valley contentment. We made a decision while we were still in our teens that antique furniture and woodworking were woven into the fabric of our spirits. Despite that declaration our road towards working stability has been long, and still far from over. 

Since we were kids it has been the craft itself has been our ever present saving grace. Often it is the daily woodworking, restoration, design, finishing, research, problem solving and the endless pursuit of skill that all serve as a reminder of the reverence we have for the craft. Which in turn becomes a reminder of the reverence we have for one another. 

Together we believe in the preservation of story. We strive to uphold the stories written into the craftsmanship of days long past. The memories embedded in our heirlooms are the remnants of our own familial history often forgotten to the slow creep of time. The story of mankind is wrapped up in every pocket watch handed down through generations. It is in every mystical piece of furniture sitting beneath layers of dust tucked in the back of a forgotten flea market. It is written into the chair you mother rocked you in as a child. 

Sam and I have become the caretakers of countless memories. Our own story being our only reason for that undertaking. 

We as as friends, we as brothers, we as kin.

We encourage you to help us.

To SAVE THE FURNITURE.