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New knobs for old buffet
sascha
February 22, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I scored a beautiful buffet off Craigslist a couple months ago. I have planned from the time of purchase to replace the knobs. I was planning to use the accent lamp as inspiration for the knob style. I was looking at antique style clear glass knobs with brass features from places like anthropologie and Layla Grayce. My question is, would that style of knob look nice on this piece or should I go a whole different direction? I don't know why I'm having a hard time pulling the trigger. I love the buffet so much and don't want to ruin it with the wrong knobs. The current knobs are 1.5" in diameter. Thanks for all suggestions.
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Barnhart Gallery
Did you ask about painting this piece not too long ago? If not, someone had something similar.

Knobs are cheap, and don't damage the piece to try, so go for it -- I think I know the set you're thinking of from Anthropologie, and they would look terrific, especially where they have a bronzy center, so would not only tie in the glass lamp, but your dark clock as well. Come to think of it, they have clock face knobs too, which would of course tie in to your clock, but I think I like the glass idea better. Sometimes I'll copy, print and cut out a bunch to "try" before I buy, or purchase one of each if I'm down to a few choices. My rejects turn up as jar lid handles, etc.

I might also put that lamp atop the books I see along with the other smallish item, and play around with a new shade. Nice find!
3 Likes   February 22, 2013 at 3:41PM
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bumbles12
What is wrong with the knob on it already?
It's a beautiful piece of furniture, luck you!
3 Likes   February 22, 2013 at 3:54PM
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wyndyacre
Antique crystal style knobs would look lovely on this beautiful buffet. The knobs on it now aren't original so no harm done. If you don't think the cupboard size ones look big enough on it, have a look at "closet pull" cyrstal knobs available at Home Depot or Lowes.
I love good antique furniture! Built so much more solidly than the "pressboard" furniture of today and you probably paid much less for it too! This peice probably had a long, framed mirror on it originally.
6 Likes   February 22, 2013 at 3:57PM
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anitajoyce
Go for it. Try the glass knobs. You have a very beautiful piece of furniture as wyndyacre mentioned earlier. The glass knobs will only enhance the buffets beauty! I don't think there is a knob out there that could ruin your buffet. If you don't like what you choose, you can always keep trying till you have what you like that makes you say, Wow! Good luck.
3 Likes   February 22, 2013 at 4:24PM
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Sue Harris
Definitely glass/crystal knobs! That is a beautiful piece of furniture!
3 Likes   February 22, 2013 at 5:54PM
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aksnt11
Don't worry, you can't ruin a great peice of furniture with knobs because knobs are replaceable :-) I see you have a wall with a brighter color, perhaps purple? Or even purple and green? Bring some knobs home and have fun! Some images from knobs available for purchase on the web I've attached below. It's a great piece to find, congrats!
19 Likes   February 22, 2013 at 6:23PM
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Jayme H.
I like your glass knob idea. But I also think u should go with whatever u like..for one simple reason..u can change it at any time and it will not ruin this piece.
1 Like   February 22, 2013 at 6:29PM
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CMR Interiors & Design Consultations Inc.
2 Likes   February 22, 2013 at 6:35PM
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sascha
Thank you everyone. I will go for it and post pictures when I get the new hardware. I do plan to change the lamp shade and some point. I just bought the lamp about a month ago. Also, it must have been someone else who wanted to paint their piece of furniture. I'm not touching this baby with any paint. :) thanks again, everyone!
3 Likes   February 22, 2013 at 7:15PM
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ladytulip
I saw something like this with black knobs, It looked great.
1 Like   February 22, 2013 at 7:38PM
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Keitha
Some ideas to consider.
5 Likes   February 22, 2013 at 7:39PM
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Jayme H.
Nothing to lose...try em all...they r not permanent!!
3 Likes   February 22, 2013 at 8:01PM
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Rochellie Gillespie
I would change the knobs to crystals or chrome.
0 Likes   February 22, 2013 at 8:50PM
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Dana Veach
My grandmother had a buffet almost identical to this one in her home...an old farm home built in Louisiana by my great grandfather right after the Civil War. It had clear glass knobs such as you want to put on this piece, and they were lovely. Go for it!
6 Likes   February 23, 2013 at 9:43AM
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danduna2
I really like this idea. What they did was painted there buffet and added new knobs to pop out. You should consider doing that.

I attached the image below.
2 Likes   February 23, 2013 at 10:11AM
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feeny
The original pulls on a turn-of-the-century oak sideboard like yours would usually have been in matching wood. You can buy replacements that will make it look more "period" authentic or you can go with a different style all together. Here is an example of a similar piece with the original pulls: http://www.rubylane.com/item/332834-A-S3067/Oak-Antique-1900-Sideboard-Console
4 Likes   February 23, 2013 at 10:11AM
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feeny
Photo from the link:
8 Likes   February 23, 2013 at 10:56AM
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lefty47
HI -- Usually pieces like this had self knobs -- this means , knobs made out of the same wood . But you don't have to have those, you can do what you want . Find a place that has a good selection and buy one of several that you like and try them on and see which one you like . Then take back the others and buy the ones you like best . Don't buy on-line , you have to be able to see them first hand and be able to return what you don't want . Let the people at the store know what you are trying to do and then see if they do returns etc. You won't ruin the cabinet just trying knobs on for looks and size . Make it fun and interesting so it fits with todays style . The old girl needs a face lift ! Depending where you are try -- Lee Valley Tools or Restoration Hardware or better yet any local hardware store.
1 Like   February 23, 2013 at 11:12AM
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Keitha
Forgot I have this old chest with large wooden knobs and my daughter has one that was her great -grandmother's.... also with large wooden knobs but her knobs are walnut on oak chest and the contrast is very pretty .
2 Likes   February 23, 2013 at 12:51PM
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n247080
crystal or glass
0 Likes   February 23, 2013 at 7:46PM
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gingerclaire
If you like the look of the anthropologie ones, go for it as you can always change you mind, just don't feel you have to buy them at anthropologie prices. You can find exactly the same products for about half the price in other online shops, or look on EBay; I found these ones on the UK site for around $18:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/8pcs-Crystal-Bubble-Door-Knobs-30mm-Kitchen-Cabinet-Drawer-Handles-Screws-/261152988690?pt=UK_Home_Garden_Door_Accessories_LE&hash=item3ccdee5e12
1 Like   February 24, 2013 at 12:50AM
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0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 12:52AM
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Andrea Prasch
I agree with everyone here the glass or crystal would look amazing on this raw wood. I love www.knobs4less.com. They have a huge selection that have that custom look to them. We used them for 2 chests of drawers and our kitchen remodel. Good luck and post after pics ;)
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 1:44AM
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tsudhonimh
The original knobs would have been plain wooden "mushroom" knobs.
1 Like   February 24, 2013 at 4:15AM
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eaktjk
Glass would work great, but I agree, the knobs most likely would have been wooden. Have you considered a larger lamp? Larger would be more appropriate with the scale of the piece and your current accessories. Then you could look to that lamp for inspiration.
3 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 4:54AM
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tinetine
glass knobs definitely!
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 7:23AM
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La Maison Chic
Try something antique looking here are some suggestions
5 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 7:36AM
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La Maison Chic
other suggestions
5 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 7:37AM
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La Maison Chic
even teardrops on drawer would work. The old mercury glass is nice too
1 Like   February 24, 2013 at 7:39AM
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auburn gallery
I have to disagree with the majority here, I think the small scale of the glass style knobs will not suit the proportion of this piece . It is a lrg masculine statement adding the glass will just feel diminished. A consideration other than the wooden knobs, which I think are best bet, would be nice patina'd oiled bronze handles and knobs. Definitely replace the small crystal lamp with a larger scale version. It is completely dwarfed by the wall clock. I might consider moving the wall clock as well, it is not really the right place for it. Because both the clock and bureau are focal pieces they would be best separated and used to better advantage.
10 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 7:39AM
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eaktjk
If you weren't planning on the expense of another lamp, try shopping in your own home. It's always fun to mix things up a bit!
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 7:45AM
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tinetine
I would still go with glass knobs. If you are unable to find what is needed in the usual shops, you could find glass door knobs that are larger. There are preservation groups (National Cambridge Collectors, Inc. is one) that can help guide you in places to purchase glass items.
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 7:56AM
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mmac846
Try a local antique store or flea market for knobs. The buffet is lovely and a great find, have fun with it!
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 8:56AM
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La Maison Chic
You could definately do a larger knob in glass that would look spectacular on the piece, it really depends on your personal taste. If this piece is a focal point in the room then splashier larger knobs would be great. If this piece is not the focal point of the room, then a smaller knob works fine provided the funtionality of opening and closing the drawers/doors works well. lots of antique furnishings have small knobs. If you decide to go with a metal knob you need to consider the rest of the furnishings in the room and what metals are in the room, ie chrome, brass, silver. That will determine the color of metals knobs for this piece as well
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 9:06AM
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billsmom
Auburn Gallery is spot on: the proportions need tweaking here. I think so many of your individual pieces are great, you just need balance. Glass knobs are pretty things, but too dainty for this beautiful chest. Wooden or patina'd knobs will give you the "beef" this chest needs. I also agree the clock and lamp need better homes. Good luck making this fantastic chest shine!
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 9:19AM
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trudela
In lieu of the self (knobs) that might have come with the original piece, I agree that clear glass would look great. I strongly suggest drawer pulls instead of knobs--the kind that you cup your open palm under. You are replacing knobs on drawers so go for drawer pulls. Clear glass ones with antique bronze metal would be best. No shiny metal.
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 9:27AM
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La Maison Chic
You could go a variety of ways depending on your style and the style of the rest of the room. HEre are a few suggestions for your piece, keep in mind you have to love it first
1 Like   February 24, 2013 at 9:29AM
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Pat Gericke & Associates, LLC
I came on late to this discussion - but before reading the comments - my reaction is glass knobs is not beefy enough - a good solid knob of bronze, antique bronze I would mix it up, knowbs on the drawers and tear drop pulls on the doors. The clock is fighting attention with this piece - its also top heavy over the buffet - place it on another wall in the room - and if you go with bronze or iron hardware, the darker wood of the clock would be picked up on the other side of the room. As far as the lamp goes, this is a boudoir size lamp and gets lost on this cabinet. This is a great way to bring in color into your room - whatever colors you have in drapery or rugs - pull out the color that is the least in the pattern and get a lamp base of that color - or if you want a sparkle from a glass lamp, then beef it up with angles, cuts in it. It is absolutely a magnificent piece - and yes, you should never ever paint it!!!!
5 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 9:45AM
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elinaughty
It is a lovely strong piece, I think the solid glass knobs would look great, not the crystal ones. I also agree that the clock should be elsewhere as they are both focal points and compete with each other.
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 9:52AM
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2012selim
Would go with a metal finish....restoration hardware has a nice selection.
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 12:08PM
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sascha
Thanks again for all the comments. The clock is only there as a safe place for the time being. It is a family heirloom that was given to us only a couple months ago. The books are there because we regularly reference them and I don't have a coffee table. I was planning on getting brass or stone bookends to go there for future use.?.? Maybe. Possibly. Anyway, back to the knobs.

I have looked through the many suggested websites (thank you!) and have a much better idea with what I want. I see now the knobs need to be more robust for sure. And I really like the idea of putting solid brass pulls on the bottom long drawer. The skeleton key holes are antiqued brass as is all the metal in my house, which isn't much. I'm still going with the glass knobs on the top drawers. :)

We are currently renting, so I'm not going to put much more thought into the rest of buffet. I'll wait until we've purchased a home in the next few months and it has a final resting place. I do however have a beautiful large brass wildwood lamp that Is in use in another room. I think that will make its way to the buffet when we move. Thanks for everyone's help!
4 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 12:56PM
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bwbrad
If the knobs aren't original and look bad, replace; otherwise, keep the integrity of the piece.
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 3:51PM
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meghankl
I'd probably go with simple oil rubbed bronze knobs. Glass knobs don't seem to fit this style of furniture, IMHO.
1 Like   February 24, 2013 at 4:52PM
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bwbrad
You are probably right - sometimes old knobs can be found in antique stores, but the oil rubbed bronze would be closer to the original color than a crystal knob.
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 5:03PM
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lmmiles
Try out the great selection of unique hardware that is very reasonable at Hobby Lobby. I always look there first.
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 5:13PM
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midcenturymartha
The piece originally would have had wooden knobs. Not that you need to go that route, but sometimes it's nice to see where a piece has been in deciding where to go with it. I agree with the others that since the current knobs aren't original, it's a good opportunity to have some fun with it.
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 5:42PM
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plastickitty
I change out cabinet knobs like I change my outifts. :) There are some great pieces here and I've been happy with their prices, quality and shipping. http://www.houseofantiquehardware.com/drawer-knobs-pulls. Best of luck! It's a beautiful piece and quite a find.
1 Like   February 24, 2013 at 8:31PM
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Lizabeth
That is a terrific score. Quarter sawn oak with rift grain. Awesome. I see Oil rubbed bronze with some heft.
0 Likes   February 24, 2013 at 8:42PM
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pinewild2
Definitely need to use a larger lamp on top....and bolder metal knobs ...unless you are trying to create an era- perfect piece. Nice find!
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 7:02AM
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calicojo
on ebay there are several merchants that sell actual antique glass knobs in various colors as well. I bought some and they have so much more character than the newly made ones and are cheaper.
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 8:54AM
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Marcia
Hobby Lobby has tons of different and unique knobs and if you get them when they are 50% off, they're very reasonable!
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 9:29AM
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Rustica Hardware
There are some nice antique cabinet knobs you may like here: http://rusticahardware.com/page/3/?s=cabinet+knobs
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 9:44AM
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smittycdm
I concure with person above who said "Lamp is too small." From your picture, knobs look fine, but the scale of the lamp, nope.
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 3:44PM
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yvesun
Lee Valley has the most knob selection I think I've ever seen. Try their website or visit one of their many stores and pick up a catalogue.
1 Like   February 25, 2013 at 9:32PM
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Mary Kosary
Does the lamp look too small to anyone else but me?
0 Likes   February 26, 2013 at 2:23PM
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Pat Gericke & Associates, LLC
yes, the lamp is too small and it had been brought up - I also think that it should be taller, and a pottery or ceramic lamp, not necessarily glass unless it has meat to it, i.e, heavy glass with texture, cuts in the glass rather than a thin clear glass as shown..
0 Likes   February 26, 2013 at 8:48PM
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piedmontdiva
check out Zara Home's knobs - they have some cool ones, some glass, some retro, some antique-y looking. Very pretty and you can always take them back if you don't like them. It's just knobs! Have fun!
0 Likes   February 27, 2013 at 4:28AM
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Durpetti Interiors
Hi, to really hold up to the weight of this piece, larger ceramic or antique brass knobs would look best. You could go colorful or not, but a nice size is important. I do think the clear glass might be a bit too light and dainty for this piece. It is a gorgeous buffet! Buy several styles, try them and return what doesnt work. Best of luck!
0 Likes   February 27, 2013 at 5:17AM
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pimms1967
Beautiful piece, good score! If you're planning to just get rid of the current knobs (donate, give away), how about spray painting them a shiny lacquer black or white first and see how that looks, you're only spending money for the paint until you decide what to do, and it will give you a different look and see if that's a route to go. Or if you have a color you were thinking if, paint that color. It's hard to tell what the current knobs look like. I think it depends on the look you're going for - to keep it vintage looking, then replace with wood or antique brass like others suggested. If want to update it with still a vintage flair, clear glass, milk glass, white or black glass/ceramic, or mercury glass could be neat. I wouldn't go too modern on this piece. Also check out Etsy website, search on knobs and pulls. Knobs and pulls are one of the easiest things to change to update a piece, but maybe buy one, put it on and see how you like it before replacing all. Perhaps find a style that has different sizes or coordinates together, use the smaller size on the small drawers, and bigger "beefier" ones on the bottom drawer. I would avoid drilling new holes for different type of knobs of what's currently there, it could lower the value of the piece.

Agreed...don't paint cabinet!
1 Like   February 27, 2013 at 6:33AM
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pearldiver
With all these suggestions, are you more or less confused! (thanks for the no-paint stance)
0 Likes   February 27, 2013 at 7:03AM
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J. K. Wiskamp
antique silverware drawer pulls would be awesome! Do a google image search for more ideas.
1 Like   February 27, 2013 at 3:23PM
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curacaoblue
That is a very nice piece. I think crystal or glass knobs would compliment the lamp and also look good on the buffet. It would be a neat update but also be reminiscent of the time period as that was the type of door knob you often saw in some homes when this piece was made.
1 Like   February 27, 2013 at 3:29PM
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pivoines
Stick to your revised idea , you have the solution and the antique lamp will probably tie everything in , Absolutely great piece.
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 5:57AM
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Linda
I agree, the wall clock doesn't go here, and the lamp is too small, but the dresser is gorgeous.
1 Like   February 28, 2013 at 5:44PM
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dam454
Yes...glass knobs. I also notice there are key holes on the top two drawers, I would try to find a couple of old keys and then put a tassle on them. But only do the top two.
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 6:30PM
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cjpines
Boy, some great ideas here. I couldn't decide on knobs for my buffet, so I ordered two sets of different styles, the company had a good return policy so I returned the other set of knobs and kept the ones that worked perfectly. Also, you can print out pictures of knobs before purchasing and put against the buffet.
But, I do think the crystal knobs would be perfect.
0 Likes   March 1, 2013 at 10:23AM
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pegathome
I have several antique pieces in our home. I took a look at the knobs on them and they are all made of the same wood as the piece. I've seen wooden (oak) knobs for sale. If unfinished you could try to match the stain and then the finish. It would keep the piece looking more authentically antique. Two excellent restoration resources: vandykes.com and leevalley.com. Good Luck!
0 Likes   March 2, 2013 at 7:33AM
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La Maison Chic
not all antique pieces have wooden knobs, and lots have been changed over the years. It depends where the piece was made orginially and what type of piece it is. The finer pieces usually have more ornate knobs. it will not make it more authentically antique to have wood knobs any more than metal or crystal knobs. its a matter of personal taste. The piece stands on itself as a wonderful piece, the knobs will only enhance it not detract from it.
1 Like   March 2, 2013 at 9:21AM
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linenmaven
How @ some antique door knobs? I used them on my china cabinet and they look smashing!
0 Likes   March 3, 2013 at 6:14AM
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Megan Sherrard
Hello, I'm a little late getting to this tread but I wanted to know about how old your piece was....I have something similar looking but I'm not sure where to go from there. Also a craigslist find....it appears to be made out of maple and have original mushroom knobs. It also has a paper card tacked to the back that reads "Tacoma Chair Company". I'm just fishing for info so I can decide on if I'd like to paint it or leave it (all though mines pretty banged up) and just some general curiosity on 'it's' story. Hope you can help and thank you!
0 Likes   October 15, 2013 at 8:57PM
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Lioness Interiors
I am way late with my post but I think going bigger or doing a mix can really dress it up, all the sizes below look like they will work on that beautiful piece
0 Likes   October 15, 2013 at 9:41PM
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