Thursday, March 21, 2019

5 top tips for maintaining your antique furniture

by Becky (writer), , December 06, 2018

With antique furniture making a comeback, we look at the best ways to take care of those older pieces so they continue to look their best for years to come.

With antique furniture making a comeback, we look at the best ways to take care of those older

pieces so they continue to look their best for years to come. Whether you’re bringing a 100 year old

table back to life after it’s been stored in the attic for the past few decades, or you’ve chosen to

invest in some antique furniture for your home, staying beautiful requires a little more work when

you’re more than 100 years old! But that doesn’t mean it’s as complicated as you may think!

Below we offer some advice and top tips to keep your antique furniture in great shape so you can

pass it on to future generations.

1. Protect from sunlight

Antiques don’t fare well in direct light which can cause damage by degrading the finish that was

applied to the surface of the furniture. This will ultimately yellow the surface of the wood if it’s been

coated in any form of resin-based varnish. Inlays, veneers or marquetry will also be affected, and

often become loose or peel off as sunlight can affect the adhesive which is meant to keep things in

place. To help avoid sunlight damage, use table cloths and linen covers. Or if you have a functional

piece that’s in regular use make sure you protect it from any spills or hot mugs with coasters and


2. Avoid damp spaces

While heat can result in extreme dryness of wood furniture, an environment with excess moisture is

just as bad. Avoid ruining your antiques through mould or rot and keep precious pieces away from

damp areas, such as cellars. And importantly, always see to any spillages right away to stop liquids

seeping into the wood.

3. Use a paste wax, avoid oils

It’s essential to keep your furniture well moisturised, but it’s also worth staying clear of oil-based

products. While it may be tempting to use them, they coat the wood and will just attract more dirt

and grime. Popular dusting polishes, such as Pledge, contains silicone and leave a hard-to-remove

film. If you ever have to get a refinisher to work on your furniture this can cause problems for them!

Alternatively, we recommend applying a paste wax about once a year which will add a lovely sheen

finish whilst protecting the wood against pollutants and any moisture.

4. Dust regularly

While cleaning is no one’s favourite chore, it’s surprising how quickly dust can accumulate, and you

may be completely unaware of the damage it can cause to an antique piece of furniture! If left

untouched, a build-up of dust collects in the grain of the wood which creates an abrasive surface,

sometimes scratching the finish. Once scratches appear, it will mean more work and restoration to

get it back to its original state, so remember to flick a duster around every so often!

5. Check for pests

Wooden furniture can often end up the victim of a pest infestation, where termites and powderdust

beetles eat away at the wood which causes irreparable damage. But not only that, they can make

your beautiful antiques very unsightly in a short space of time, so make sure to check regularly for

any sawdust which is the most common sign of a pest problem! If you do happen to notice

something, contact a professional exterminator and then enlist the services of an antique restorer to try and put right any damage.

About the Writer

Becky is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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