In these tough economic times, many people are turning to restoring homes and antique furniture rather than purchasing new things. Of course, a lot of people just love the challenge of taking something purchased at a yard sale for a little money and turning it into something spectacular. Whatever the reason for seeking antique supplies, there are a number of sources you can use.
Architectural salvage companies can be a treasure chest for old glass or porcelain doorknobs, doorplates, keys, light fixtures, mantels, and windows. Flea markets are another great source, particularly for small items like door knobs and antique hardware. In addition there are a lot of companies who also have websites and sell things needed to restore furniture and antique metals. Sometimes modern tools are not appropriate for restoration projects and these companies can guide you to the proper tools to use. They also carry a large variety of waxes, polishes and cleaners for different types of finishes, both metal and wood.
When they say that one manís trash is another manís treasure; it is really true for restoration addicts or crafters. Most people would think that old doorknobs were of no use, but many crafters use them to make unusual perches on birdhouses. Old iron fence top decorations are also popular with crafters. Of course if you have an older home, modern doorknobs, latches, and key plates would look out of place. Antique supply stores make it possible to use period details that are in keeping with the history of the home.
Antique lighting fixtures are another area where replacement parts are sometimes hard to find. If your chandelier is missing some of the crystals or glass shades; check out antique supply companies. The actually have replacement parts for gas lights, kerosene lighting fixtures, oil lamps, and other hard to find items such as wicks and cords. You can often find period lampshades in silk or glass as well.
If you donít mind doing a little research, you can find antique supplies to turn your flea market finds into showpieces or to restore your antique pieces to their former glory. I love old furniture and architectural details. I think they add a lot of personality to an otherwise ordinary home. Youíll be surprised at how many compliments you get when you take the trouble to reuse something old even if itís for something other than the original purpose.
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