A Memorable Wedding Gift

Tips For Restoring Newly Acquired Antique Furniture

by Michelle West

If you have recently invested in some antique furniture for sale, the first thing you're going to want to do is to clean and restore each piece. However, cleaning and restoring antique furniture isn't as easy as cleaning modern furnishings. The good news is that you can take care of your antique furniture with ease when you know how to approach it. Here are some of the steps that you need to take to prepare your furniture.

Start With A Thorough Wipe-Down

Your initial cleaning and preparation process should start with a thorough wipe-down of the furniture. Choose a wood cleaning solvent that's designed specifically to be gentle enough that it doesn't damage wood finishes while cleaning the furniture. Spray the cleaner on the rag, not on the furniture. Don't use water, and avoid getting the furniture actually wet.

Wipe the exposed wood completely, making sure that you cover all of the surfaces to get everything clean. Dust and dirt can settle into cracks and cake onto the furniture over time, so the more work you put into wiping the furniture down, the cleaner it will be.

Check The Finish 

You need to be sure of the finish on your antique furniture before you go any further after it's cleaned. You can easily test the finish with acetone and some cotton balls. Apply some acetone to the cotton balls, and then wipe a small, inconspicuous spot on the furniture. If the cotton ball comes back clean, that means that the furniture has been treated with polyurethane or another clear sealant. You'll need to repaint and reseal the furniture to finish its restoration.

If the cotton ball comes back dirty, that means it has a wood stain finish. You'll have to strip the old finish before applying tung or another specialized furniture oil to seal and protect the wood while giving it a fresh new look.

Understand The Grain

Finally, when you're working with antique wood furniture, you need to be mindful of the wood grain. Any work you do to the furniture should be done in the direction of the grain. If you work in circular motions or against the grain of the wood, you're likely to get a streaky, uneven finish. Work in the direction of the wood grain instead to get the final look that you want.

The more you understand about restoring your antique furniture, the easier it is to get the final results you're hoping for. Talk with an antique furniture restorer right away to get your investment into the best possible condition.