As an antique furniture lover, you've probably run into an antique furniture find that really suits your style, and you can't wait to snatch it up at the first deal you get. But what do you do if the keys are long gone?

Do you leave it and hope for another find? Of course not! Antique furniture, especially a piece that suits your style, is hard to come by. Vintage locks don't have to be such a mystery. Additionally, it's highly possible to reinstate locking function to old, vintage and unique furniture finds.

So, where do you start?

Look for a key that fits your find

You can find a key that fits your antique furniture by researching whether the original manufacturer retails additional keys. If they do, you can find out the type of key to order, using the tiny number on the lock of your furniture.

Almost all antique furniture share identical locks which can be unlocked using skeleton keys. If you're lucky enough, sometimes all you'll need is one key to get past the lock. You can get sets of skeleton keys from antique stores or even online, to see if any of them will unlock your find.  

Also, it's more common than you might think to find a key hiding in a drawer or in the back of your find. However, if you fail to discover a key, you can always get one that fits your lock from a locksmith.

Have the old lock replaced by a locksmith

It's not always possible to make a key that fits your lock, and when this happens, replacing the old lock with a new one is a possibility. A locksmith can pull out the old lock and replace it with one that has a set of working keys. Find out if your locksmith provides aftermarket locks or get an antique lock from the original manufacturer.

You can replace an old lock on antique wooden furniture with a newer modern lock, but bear in mind that this can devalue the piece. Adding a modern lock affects the appeal of antique pieces, which is their originality.

Remember not to panic if a locksmith needs to replace your lock by drilling into your new find. Sometimes it's necessary to cut out the old lock to put in a new working lock. However, this should only come as the last course of action, after exhausting every other possibility.