Caring for antique wood furniture
When you take care of antique furniture, its charm and beauty won’t fade away. But, unlike modern furniture, antiques need a little more special attention. They are susceptible to modern spray cleansers like Pledge. These cleansers will leave an oily residue on your antique wood furniture.
You’ll also want to cleaning your antiques with anything that has a rough texture because it could scratch the furniture. Even feather dusters can scratch your furniture if the duster breaks.
Oils like tung or linseed can also ruin your antique furniture. When they soak into the grain and oxidize over time, they can turn the wood black. Other oils often take a long time to dry and attract dust and pollens that stick to the surface.
Here are some cleaning options for antique furniture:
- Dust regularly with soft brush: A soft brush will help you avoid scratches. Wet cleaning isn’t recommended. If you do need to wet clean, dab the furniture with mild detergent diluted in distilled water and then pat it dry with distilled water. Follow up with a coat of wax and buff after it’s hardened.
- Maintain finish: Waxing is the best way to maintain the finish. It’s removable if build up occurs. Use solid waxes like butcher’s or beeswax for best results.
- Keep out of bright sunlight: Really bright sunlight can accelerate the aging process and cause finishes to crack or become brittle.
Of course, there are plenty of antique wood furniture cleaning products on the market today that you may want to use when cleaning your furniture. Make sure to avoid harsh chemicals and choose mild cleaners when using these products. Antique furniture wood grains can be vulnerable to damage by such products, causing dark spots due to build-up of these products.
If your antiques have been damaged by fire and smoke or flooding or standing water, DFW Restoration are your experts when it comes to antique restoration in Dallas, TX.
Does painting antique furniture ruin the value?
If you paint or refinish antique furniture, it can diminish your furniture’s value. Before you consider painting or refinishing a piece, look for designer markings and do an Internet search to see how valuable the piece might be.
How do you preserve old wood?
To preserve old wood, begin by oiling it. This will help keep the wood strong and slow water absorption, preventing rot. Make sure not to clean with oils, though. That can cause dark spots if it builds up. All excess oil should be wiped up. Two to three coats of oil may be needed. Sand the wood between coats. Once the wood is oiled, dust it and clean off dirt, using clean, dry towels.
There are several antique wood furniture oils on the market to choose from to help you preserve old woods.
How do you clean old wooden furniture naturally?
When clean your old wooden furniture, you may want to avoid chemical cleaners that could be harmful to it. There are natural options to clean your furniture, cleaners that you can make at home. All you need is water, white vinegar, olive oil and a spray bottle or jar.
In the spray bottle or jar, you’ll mix in 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar, and then add a tablespoon of olive oil. Once you’ve mixed well, you spray it directly on the surface or on a rag and then rub it clean. You will need to shake the solution on occasion to keep the oil and water from separating.
For occasional heavy duty polishing, in a jar, you can mix 1 tablespoon if vinegar with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Afterward, just dip a rag in and then apply it directly to the wood.
Is it bad to refinish antique furniture?
Some old furniture isn’t worth refinishing, especially items mass produced in the last 30 or 40 years. Most of this furniture is made of particle board or medium density fibreboard, aka MDF board, that may have a foil or laminate finish.
If your piece is made of sturdy plywood with a wood veneer, you may want to refinish it Be careful, though. If the veneer is too thin it might not accept sanding or varnish. In that case, you might want paint it instead.
If your piece is antique or has a sentimental value, you might consider having professional refinishers do the job. This way any mistakes are avoided.
If you have antique furniture wood molding or other pieces like trimming missing or damaged, these pieces can also be repaired. It may, however take some searching on the Internet to find the right part.
How do you bring old wood back to life?
The first step is to clean it. Then, if you want to bring your old wood back to life naturally use a mixture of extra virgin olive oil and white vinegar. Measure out about ¾ cups of olive oil and ¼ cup of the vinegar and then apply it with cheesecloth. This solution will make dry wood look new and even help wood with light water damage.
Your restoration experts
Looking to restore your valuable antiques or artwork? DFW Restoration in Dallas, TX has the expertise to bring your antiques back to life from fire, smoke or water damage. Give us a call at (214) 453-1592 to learn more about our services.