What do you do when you have furniture missing some of the hardware or details? For my latest project, I have a serpentine dresser that is not in the best shape, to say the least. It has gorgeous brass hardware I have not seen the likes of before and finding exact replacements for the missing pieces is a daunting task.
It features knob backplates and detailed escutcheons. Luckily, none of the knobs and pulls are missing but the escutcheons have only one pair of each kind as well as the backplates. I love the original hardware, so for this project, I opted to recreate replicas of the missing pieces. It takes a bit of creativity but it’s not as difficult as you might think to create some convincing copies.
There are many options when it comes to making your own moulds. You can purchase mould kits that have clay or silicone material with which you can use to create a mould. I decided to go with a less fancy option and use my hot glue gun to create a usable mould. You must use a large hot glue gun and not one of the smaller versions, as the hot glue will set too quickly due to the diameter of the hot glue coming out and make for an imperfect mould that’s lumpy.
I plugged in my hot glue gun and as it was heating, I spray the original escutcheon and back plates with some WD-40. This will help me pop out the pieces from the hot glue once it has set, more easily. If you don’t have WD-40, any type of slick lubricant will work like oil, vaseline, butter, etc.
Set the piece you want to make a mould of on a flat surface with the details facing up. I then cover the pieces with hot glue generously as it lays on the surface so that the surface of the piece is entirely covered and the edges have a generous covering of hot glue as well. I did this over parchment paper for easy clean up later.
Allow the hot glue to set and cool for at least 15 minutes. It will get more cloudy as it cools. Once it has hardened, pop out your pieces gently. The lubricant should make it easy to do so. There you have it, easy peasy moulds from which you can cast replicas with from the material of your choosing. You can use paper clay, modeling material, wood putty, bondo, or resin. I chose Amazing Casting resin for this because I like how it sets in 10 minutes and the details come out clean and crisp with no cracking or shrinking plus it’s durable.
I spray the inside of my homemade moulds with some WD-40. Use whatever lubricant you have handy. I measure and mix my resin. Resin comes in two parts and you measure equal parts of each solution together before you cast. I mix with a popsicle stick in a plastic cup. You can feel the resin heat up the longer you mix so work quickly. I pour enough resin within the mould so that it is even with the rim of the mould and scrape off any excess from the back. Allow the resin to set. Amazing Casting resin turns white as it sets.
I popped out the resin moulding after the material has set. You can just lightly touch the surface to see how much it has hardened. I tear off the excess bits from the moulding for a clean, detailed look. My original brass hardware is gold so I had to spray my moulding with some Rust-Oleum metallic spray in gold to match the original color of the hardware. I added a bit of redesign with prima’s decor wax in eternal for the perfect shade of gold after the spray had dried.
Once my replicas have dried completely and hardened, they are ready to be applied onto my dresser. I’m so happy that I went with the original hardware for this very special piece. Can you spot the “fakes.”