Question – Is it possible to refinish an ice box that has been painted and have some repairs done also?

 This is the question that I was asked and I said yes. It is possible to have those things done.

The process is with any older item to get the stripping done first and then assess what needs to be repaired.  In this case there was one front foot in need of being replaced and many areas tightened by securing in place with either screws, nails or glue.  After the stripping there is always a need to scrape the surface to make sure any lingering paint will be removed. Once everything is tight, repaired and scraped then the sanding to smooth all of the surface is needed.  The color was to be a natural and in this case that was just the best approach for this piece. The wood was a birch with embossing in the front doors panels. With the coats of paint removed the embossing really came to life. At this point it was time to add finish. Sealer that is sanded to create a smooth surface and the final top coats .The interior metal was cleaned and finish was added to it as well. Job complete. I think it came out very nice for such an old piece of history.

Question – I have a ceramic lamp that has been damaged and needs some pieces glued in place to bring the lamp back to an acceptable look. Can this be done?

I do not do lamps of ceramic but this was gluing in place with pieces that were just off the lamp body so I said OK I will try and see what I could do.  Working from a small plastic bag and dry fitting each piece I was able to find where each of the pieces belonged. After gluing the pieces there were areas of touch up that needed to be addressed. A furniture marker of the appropriate color was added and the lamp was as good as it would be and ready to return to the owner.

Question -A small drop leaf side table with two legs and one section of apron came into the shop with the owner wanting to know if anything could be done. The answer was as long as all of the parts are there it can be put back together and made usable.

The top was removed from the apron by taking the screws out of the Z clips and dry fitting the frame and legs. Everything fit as it was supposed to so it was a matter of removing the clamps adding glue and re-clamping the legs and apron. After the glue had dried the top was re-attached using the Z clips.

Until next time I’m Ron Stookey

E-mail to or telephone at (515) 277-1555. The shop is at 113 5th Street, West Des Moines, Iowa. Mailing address is Ron Stookey, P.O. Box 65102, West Des Moines, Iowa 50226. Visit us at