How To Restore Antique Furniture

Once you have learned how to restore antique furniture, a little nick or abrasion won't prevent you from purchasing an antique piece. Although it is preferable not to restore an antique piece, there are ways to do restoration without decreasing the value of your furniture.

  1. Extensive restoration can be time consuming and cost prohibitive, so you should assess the extent of restoration needed before purchasing an antique. If you have inherited a damaged piece of antique furniture, the cost and time invested in restoration won't probably matter because of the sentimental value inherent in the piece.
  2. A scratch in the finish of a dark wood piece can be camouflaged with a matching stain, iodine, or dark furniture polish. Keep in mind when learning how to restore antique furniture that an antique piece should never be stripped or in any way made to look like a new piece.
  3. In learning how to restore antique furniture, you may be find that a simple washing with an oil-based soap or vinegar in warm water will bring an antique piece back to life. Just removing the grit and grime from a piece may be all the furniture needs.
  4. For an antique piece, when considering how to restore antique furniture, you may want to use denatured alcohol to remove deeply embedded dirt. Be sure to have lots of paper towels handy to whip the alcohol off as quickly as possible so it doesn't loosen the finish too much.
  5. When considering how to restore antique furniture, keep in mind that a bit of wear only denotes that the piece is old. If you want pristine furniture with no signs of aging, you should probably look into purchasing new furniture or even reproductions of older pieces.
  6. How to restore antique furniture depends on what needs to be restored. If a leg or another piece of wood needs to be replaced, you must use matching wood or stain the wood replacement to match the rest of the piece.
  7. When replacing damaged or missing wood pieces in an antique piece, keep in mind that you will have to finish the new piece, even after you have stained it to match the rest of the wood, with a similar finish used on the original piece. Learning how to restore antique furniture requires patience and a bit of research.
  8. Talk to sales people in hardware stores as well as furniture craftsmen and antique dealers when considering how to restore antique furniture.  Even if you are just starting to collect antiques or only just inherited a piece, you will find that antique dealers, furniture craftsmen, and other professionals are very accommodating when you show genuine interest in how to restore antique furniture. 
  9. When contemplating how to restore antique furniture, don't let flaking silver from an old mirror, a missing handle, or piece of inlay discourage you. Mirrors can be re-silvered, and there are any number of companies specializing in replacement pieces for antique furniture. Some antique dealers even specialize in replacement items.
  10. Some painted antique furniture is more valuable if the paint is not removed or tampered with. When considering how to restore antique furniture, keep in mind that early paint was created from long forgotten recipes. Antique furniture with antique paint finish should not be restored. A coat of linseed oil or other such finish is all that is needed to bring the paint back to life. 

 

Reference: 

www.ca.uky.edu/hes/fcs/FACTSHTS/HF-LRA.053.PDF

 

 

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