The interior of your home is not only limited to color of walls and types of curtains. Furniture is also one of the major parts of your home’s interior. They can make your home look beautiful and also adds value. However, the furniture tends to get old and weary due to overuse. As a result, restoration of an antique piece of wood furniture becomes a necessity.
Here are some tips on how to restore an antique piece of wood furniture.
The Art of Restoration
When it is said about restoring antique furniture what is mainly communicated about is preservation. This piece is targeted in lasting another 100 years, so every feature concerning restoration should be taken very seriously. The first step to any restoration process is figuring out what kind of condition the piece is in and what improvements are absolutely necessary. If the finish on your piece is still intact, it may only need a good cleaning.
Hopefully, your piece is just suffering from years of dust combined with a waxy coating and the finish is still salvageable through a good cleaning. When cleaning an antique piece of furniture you should use an oil-based wood cleaner or conditioner. These commercial cleaners should cut right through the dust, dirt, and wax build-up. Do not spray the cleaner directly on the piece, rather apply it to a soft cloth first then rub it into the piece. Let the cleaner sit for an hour or two then remove it using a different cloth. Depending on how dirty the piece is you may have to repeat this process several times. When the piece looks clean, be sure to buff the piece to remove the excess oil from the cleaner.
After the piece dries, there may be a light haze on the finish, you can remove this haze by rubbing steel wool on the piece. Remember to go with the grain and don’t use too much elbow grease, you don’t want to strip the finish.
Replacing Missing Parts
Replacing parts on an antique piece may be the biggest hurdle you face when trying to restore it. You don’t want to replace an antique part with a brand new piece of wood, other than a noticeable clash, it takes away from the value and feel of the piece. For missing pieces, you are supposed to go to a restoration professional. A professional restoration expert will try (if it’s possible) to replace the missing parts with vintage materials to best match the age of the piece. As much as you might want to do a fully DIY restoration, without the years of experience or connections to match a piece with antique parts, you will have trouble getting your piece to where you want it and where it should be.
The way a professional will replace a missing piece is quite interesting actually. For example, say your piece is missing an inlay. The professional will take a mold of the missing inlay by using a clay-like compound around the still existing inlay. That mold will be filled with plaster, when that plaster dries, they will send it to a high-quality woodworker to make the replacement inlay out of a similar wood as your piece.
Some things you want to do yourself unless you happen to be a high-quality woodworker, Its good that you allow the professionals to handle this part of the restoration.
Restoration doesn’t stop once your piece is back to the quality it once was. Restoration is worthless unless you continue to care for and appreciate your piece of antique furniture. Use the cleaning methods that have been discussed earlier to keep the piece in the quality you’ve gotten it to. The biggest danger to antique furniture is not misused or children; it’s neglect. Just like an old car needs regularly scheduled tune-ups, an old piece of wood furniture needs the same regular attention.
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