Antique And Fine Furniture CareJune 6, 2011
Whether a family heirloom of a piece you purchased at a shop, your antique furniture is important to you and possibly worth monetary value as well. Taking the best care to not damage your coveted table of buffet is probably a priority to you, but cleaning aged items is not as simple as picking up and general household cleaner from the drugstore. There are things to keep in mind when cleaning and caring for antique or fine furniture.
• Trees are a gift from Mother Earth, so natural and environmentally friendly items are better and safer for wooden furniture and flooring than chemical products tend to be.
• Avoid silicone based polishes, as they can penetrate the wood and cause future damage when attempting furniture restoration. Try to stick with naturally made products.
• Use a high quality, environmentally friendly paste wax, as it will protect from dust or moisture and is not permanent.
• Do not over oil your furniture. Moisture in the air, not polish or oil is what keeps the wood from drying out.
• Avoid direct sunlight, as the sun can fade or discolor your piece. Also avoid heating units and fireplaces.
• Do not wax deteriorating surfaces to avoid further damage.
• Do not store your antique furniture in dry places like attics, because the lack of moisture will degrade and/or fade the piece. It will dry out and begin to deteriorate.
• Always blot spills immediately and use tablecloths, coasters and such to protect your antique or fine furniture.
Furniture restoration can bring life back to dull, fading, or discolored pieces. It can be done by the owner, however it takes commitment and patience. It will take at the very least, three full days to restore an item. There are many steps to follow from removing hardware and stripping to washing and possibly re-striping before the actual finish can be applied. This process is best left up to professionals, especially for items such as painted furniture.
Reupholstering furniture can be a painstaking process, but the outcome is often well worth it. When combining reupholstery with furniture repair, the end result is like a brand new item. When looking at a reworked piece of furniture, you cannot see the hours of skilled crafting go into the process. The presence of restored antique furniture in your home will add a bit of elegance to any room.
When having a piece of furniture, specially crafted, restored or if you decide to try hardwood floors in your home, reclaimed wood is a beautiful and thrifty choice. Not only will it add character to your living space, but it will save many trees from being cut for lumber. Although timber is renewable, the time it takes to grow back entire forests that have been cut can take up to 35 years. Most reclaimed wood comes from old barns, factories, or warehouses, and it should be cared for with the same methods as any other old or antique wooden items.
If you find an old piece of furniture that you love, but are apprehensive to buy it because of the condition, always remember that furniture can be repaired, reupholstered, or restored to look almost brand new. If the item absolutely speaks to you, follow your heart and get it because after it has been reworked, you will love your piece of fine or antique furniture even more than when you first saw it.