This is what my c. 1680-1700 Dutch mirror looked like when I acquired it about ten days ago--rather neglected and abused.
I have been waiting for Roberto to have a free day to start the very exacting task of restoring the mirror without removing too much of the original patina. The first step involved testing the surface of the painted moldings to see which chemicals to use to removed that ugly aqua paint. Roberto had to resort to a "green" stripper to completely remove the paint (there was a bright blue underneath the aqua--lovely).
The next step was to tape out the beautiful 310-330 year old walnut veneer which appears to have maintained its original surface. The exacting task of sanding and then filling the major areas of losses was up next. When dealing with native European wood pieces of this age there is usually a certain amount of wood worm damage. These pieces were frequently subjected to extreme humidity and temperature changes which made the wood even more yummy for the wood worms.
Here is a reminder of what the Dutch mirror on 1stdibs.com looks like
And here is what my mirror looks like--not bad for the first level of restoration.
Did you spot Jones in the photo? He had just returned from daycare...spoiled?
Have a wonderful almost fall day.
Mary and Jones (and Cole)