Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Caring for Vintage Furniture and Wood

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. ~Albert Einstein

Years ago I was given a wonderful gift by my parents when they gave me my grandmother's dresser, china cabinet and vanity. I remember as a child thinking her vanity, with her brushes, mirrors and jewelry box laid out neatly, was so enchanting when we visited her! I would love to care for these items properly so I can one day hand them down to my daughter. I'm sure many of you have antique furniture as well. How can we care for it properly?

Do not set beverages, vases of flowers or anything similar on your pieces. Use coasters if it's a piece of furniture that will be used for this. Dust several times a week with a soft cloth. It's recommended that you NOT use spray waxes or polishes on the surfaces of antique furniture because it may leave a residue. You can use a paste wax, that is rubbed on and buffed afterwards if you wish. This can be removed easily if refinishing is ever necessary. Other sources recommend a lemon polish, but you need to make sure it has REAL lemon oil, not just the fragrance. Also, the polish must not contain alcohol, which will dry the wood, or silicone which will leave a residue. Any polishing you do to your pieces should be done in the direction of the grain. Once a year you can wash your furniture with a mild soap and warm water. Using a soft cloth, dip it in the water and wring it completely out. Wash a small area at a time on the piece, then wipe with a damp, soap free cloth. Then dry with another clean, soft cloth.

To really ensure the life of your wood pieces they should be kept away from direct sunlight, heating vents, alcohol, steam and water.

We have tips for removing watermarks from wood on OFL:

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