Tips for Restoring a Campaign Dresser

Happy Tuesday everyone!  I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend.  I sure did!

I wanted to pop in today to follow-up on a post I did about my Campaign Dresser makeover.  I learned a few tips along the way that I wanted to pass along.

Tips for Restoring a Campaign Dresser

So, when I found my dresser for only $50 on Craigslist, I was beyond ecstatic. She was a diamond in the rough.  I realized that two or three of the hardware brackets were missing, but figured it would be super easy to find replacements on Ebay or Etsy. WRONG!!

I searched and searched for the missing L brackets and could find nothing on Ebay, Etsy or Craigslist.  CRAP!  The signature of a campaign dresser is the hardware and having missing hardware was just not going to do.  I went on a wild goose chase to track down the hardware, so I want to let you know where all the possible sources are in the event you ever find yourself wanting to restore a similar piece.

EBAY and ETSY:  I recommend first doing a cursory search on Ebay and Etsy to see if you get lucky.  Exact matches are hard to find, but it is worth doing a quick search.

SALVAGE FROM ANOTHER PIECE:  You may want to consider looking for another piece of campaign furniture on Craigslist and using it just for the hardware.  While this may seem expensive, if you are looking for something like a pull, buying it new will cost you a pretty penny. It may be cost-effective in the long run

HOME DEPOT AND LOWE’S:  You could consider buying inexpensive brackets from a box store.  This is my least favorite option.  It just does not look as authentic.  You have to use bulky screws, whereas campaign hardware uses tiny brad nails.  See what I mean by looking at the picture below?

 

l bracket

CUSTOM ORDER THROUGH AN INTERIOR DESIGNER:  You can have an interior designer order them through the Decorative Hardware Studio, but it is very expensive.  About $25 per piece.  If you are replacing all the hardware, this really adds up.

BUY IT NEW ONLINE:  You can buy new brackets and hardware new at Vintage Hardware. They sell recessed pulls as well as L brackets and T brackets.  This is the route I went and I was very pleased.  While I only needed 4 pieces, I wanted mine to match exactly as far as the finish was concerned, so I ended up replacing them all.  If you have to do this, you could always make up for the cost, buy selling the existing hardware on Ebay or Etsy.

I was lucky that I did not have to buy new pulls.  Mine just required a good soak in some Brasso. I let them soak for about 20 minutes.  I have also heard you can use baking soda and lemon juice. Centsational Girl has an excellent post about polishing brass that you can read here.  Here is a before and after of the hardware:

IMG_8144

All shiny and new!  By the way, it is important to find out if you are dealing with real brass or brass plate before attempting to polish.  If you take a magnet to the hardware and it sticks, it is only brass plated.  If it falls off, you are dealing with real brass.

So, there you have it, all of the information you could ever need about campaign hardware.  If you ever need to replace or find pieces, I have done all of the legwork for you!

What are your tips for finding vintage hardware?  Do you go on wild goose chases too?

xoxo,

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