I went to Mike’s house to look at the antique safe and it was in pretty bad shape, but the old style lettering and the illustration were intact. I took several pictures and uploaded them to my computer. After importing them into Corel Draw I was able to vectorize the letters and make them workable.
I posted on Fellow Letterheads asking for help, as it had been awhile since I’d done a job like this. The response was great and inspired me to move forward.
It took several months before hearing from Mike. He had his antique safe powder coated and the hardware chrome plated as part of the antique safe restoration. He was adamant about restoring the antique lettering and illustration as it was on the original. The safe door was only 13 inches wide and the copy, ‘GUARANTEED WATER PROOF’ Only 3/8” tall.
I placed the door on a desk top artist easel and had to come up with a ‘jig’ to help support the weight. Once I installed it, the easel worked fine.
The illustration was an old school landscape painting. I first taped off the area and applied a coat of varnish. I had heard different stories about powder coated surfaces, but the varnish worked as a base. I then applied a coat of gesso and did the painting with acrylics and a small pointed brush. When the art was finished I clear coated it with an acrylic clear.
The pinstripping and all the drop shades are enamel. The gold leaf was very tricky and I had to use a screen because the logo and lettering were so small. The job had it’s challenges but it turned out fine and Mike was very happy with the restoration and glad to have his antique safe returned.