Decorative Arts/Expert Profile

Eileen Cronk

On Vacation
returns 12/30/2018

If you are decorating your home on a budget I can answer most questions about what to look for when buying "good old stuff" at garage sales, yard sales or auctions. I can answer most questions about the refinishing, and repairing of wood items. I have had lots of experience in this area and made lots of mistakes over the years which I may help you avoid.

Experience in the area

I have been haunting auction sales,flea markets etc. for 30 yrs. I have worked extensively at refinishing, and repairing all the old stuff I bring home. I also work for other people, and do repairs and refinishing for several antique stores.

What do you like about this subject?

I enjoy the thrill of seeing layers of old paint come off a piece of furniture to reveal wonderful old oak or walnut underneath. The thrill of restoring something that would otherwise end up in the garbage has never left me after many years of this pursuit. I dont think it ever will.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

I have accumulated over the years many old "odd" bits and pieces of beautiful antique wood. I would like to learn more wood working skills to be able to make something really unique from them

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

I was once told by an old 'Master refinisher" that the time one spends restoring old things is not counted against your alotted time on this earth.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

I have always heard that a piano should never be stripped and refinished. I think this is hogwash. I have done several over the years (at the insistance of the owner) and each and every time they have been delighted with the results. Now we are not talking pianos that cost thousands here but the usual piano you would see in the average home.

Average Ratings

Recent Reviews from Users

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Donna07/09/15101010Eileen was very helpful, knowledgable and quick .....
James04/13/15101010Thank you!
Karen11/18/13101010Great advice, and got back to me .....

Recent Answers from Eileen Cronk

2015-07-08 Refinishing picture frames:

Hi again Donna  Remember, whatever color you choose, it can be easily changed if you choose wrong the first time.   And if the back is papered certainly leave it on and tape. If you happen to get a bit

2015-07-05 Refinishing picture frames:

Hi Donna  Nice to hear from you.  You have asked about my favorite subject.   I have redone so many pictures I have lost track.  And you are so right to want to keep them but make them match better.  So

2015-03-05 Wood picture frame with plaster decorations:

Hi again Carol  Plaster will not take the stain and look nice.  It will absorb the stain and look awful.  But suggest to her that she can paint the plaster part a color that matches the wood, then use

2015-03-01 Wood picture frame with plaster decorations:

Hi Carol  Nice to hear from you.  I said both ways as I have done both. With sucess, and not.  If I remember, one frame was original and one someone had painted.  When you say your daughter wants to use

2014-03-22 Wood table that has Grooves:

Hi Jennifer  Nice to hear from you.  What you want to do depends on the type of material the table top is made of.  Do you know this?  It could be composite with a veneer over it in which case there is


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