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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

To Remove or Not to Remove

It's now an accepted fact among antique aficionados that refinishing a piece can greatly diminish its market value.

Long gone are the days of stripping off old paint to get down to bare wood and then laying on a nice new coat of varnish. Instead, terms such as "original surface" or "original paint" or "attic surface" now carry a lot of cachet.

Knowing all of that, I recently faced a dilemma over what to do with a little finial that likely came off an antique curtain rod. As you see in the photo, on one part of the finial is a smear of white paint, which probably got there when someone painted the wall behind the curtain rod.

For better or worse, I decided to leave the smear of paint because removing it would probably do more harm to the underlying original finish than leaving things as they are. Maybe the smear will be unacceptable to some potential buyers, maybe not.

But at least they know it's "original finish" on the finial and not cosmetically cleaned up.

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