Monday, January 11, 2016

A Vintage Philco Radio

Well now, here's a thing I've never refinished before! A client I've done a series of pieces for in the past six months approached me around Thanksgiving to refinish this vintage radio. I had gotten it all the way painted, but dragged my feet trying to decide what to do about the fabric panel in the center, and so here it is well after Christmas and I've finally finally finished it. (I'm sorry Lori!)

             The piece dates to the 1940s, and has fantastic art deco lines throughout, all sexy slow curves and rounded edges. It was originally a veneer, which had started to chip and let go in several places. I first photographed the piece entirely. The client had mentioned the radio might still work, and I figured if it did there's no way they'd be able to run it if I painted over the knob labels and didn't repaint them when I was done. Next I filled all the veneer holes, patched some gouges, and sanded the piece. I painted it in Benjamin Moore's Jonesboro cream, distressed, and dark waxed. I removed the shredded old fabric panel over the speaker and replaced it with a cream panel that complimented the paint color, and secured it with vintage style brass tacks. Finally I had lettered all the knob labels and the 'Philco' back in place. I tried plugging the radio in and it does turn on, and I did get static, but despite some knob turning, I couldn't get it to pick up any stations.

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