Repairing dents in a 1790-1810 slant front desk?


New member
I picked up a 1790-1810 slant front desk that needs a little work. What are your thoughts on repairing dents that occur over 200 years of use? Please take a look at the links for pictures of the piece:
The carcass and a drawer fronts are solid cherry, so I think most of the dents could be fixed/ironed out. I am torn between trying to make the piece look new, or should I respect its age and leave the dents be? I'm stripping the piece and working one some veneer repairs, so no matter what, it will be completely refinished.
Thanks for any comments!



I agree 100%.  Those dents add to the character and history of the piece.  Not only would I not try to fix them, I would admire them as the story of the piece that they are.
Some people won't buy antiques because they want their furniture to be new, shinny, and without defects. Others, who buy antiques do so because they are not new, shinny, and they do have defects. I love the signs of years of use on the few antiques my wife and I are privileged to own. Those dings and scars and worn spots give great visual pleasure to me.

Leave them. Enjoy them.


Well-known member

There will always be many opinions on what to fix and what to just leave alone. The patina, the patina some will say. The beauty of age and dents tell a story of use they say.

I love how antique furniture looks and these dents do add to the story of the piece. 

But all that said it's your piece and you can do what you want. I'm just happy you own it and it wasn't dumped in a landfill.