Antiques & Reproductions

Maintaining and Caring for Antique Wood Furniture

The maintenance and care of antique wood furniture is critical to preserving its quality, beauty, and value for many years to come; learn more:

The maintenance and care of antique wood furniture shouldn’t be taken lightly; its care today will add to its further age and value in years to come. Whether this furniture has been an expensive piece purchased, or handed down through the family for many generations; you’ll want to do everything possible to preserve its quality and beauty.

In antique restoration circles, you’ll hear the term patina often; What is patina? It is everything that happens to that object over time; it can include dings, scratches, finishing techniques, aging, everything. It’s also a strong element in what gives an object character. There’s a whole lot of information out there concerning patina in relation to metal objects, but this article will stick to wood furniture.

The finish on antique furniture is as important as the object itself: Refinishing the surface removes the original finished coating and may damage the patina; Once removed, it can never be recovered. Patterns of wear indicating the history of use, are also lost during resurfacing the object.

The look of antique wood furniture can be made better without damaging the existing finish. You may wish to consult a restoration or antiques appraisal expert, before treating your antiques; to help with your decisions on how far to go with your project. Not all antique furniture is valuable, yet others may be very valuable, and this could have a great influence on your choices. Get informed before you start; Maintaining the original aged finish should be a primary consideration.

Maintenance Care
Take a soft clean cloth and wipe off all dust carefully: You might need to use a small, very soft paintbrush or cosmetic brush, to dust in cracks and crevices. Do not use any spray products on antique wood furniture.

Every 3 to 4 months, or at least once a year, you should wax your wood furniture; again do not use any spray products. You should use a very good quality paste wax: Some are coloured and you may opt to use one close to the colour of the finish, or one that’s uncoloured. Carefully dust the furniture, then take a soft clean cloth and sparingly apply the wax, with the natural wood grain, and buff gently to bring up a soft sheen. This will both seal and protect the wood underneath: Avoid any metal handles or areas where metal may be, like hinges etc.

If you opt to polish any metal handles or parts; gently remove them from the furniture and use a polish specifically designed for that type of metal. Again, it would be wise to first consult an expert on this aspect.