An antique piece of wood provides more warmth and glow than newer pieces. This is one of the reasons anyone with antique wooden furniture will strive to keep it in the best condition possible and get help from furniture restoration Essex when needed. The warmth and glow in antique furniture is also known as ‘patina‘ and takes ages to develop and build. It might even take centuries for certain types of wood for the patina to develop. Wooden surfaces are prone to scratching. Although the furniture might have accumulated scratches over time, this only adds the charm, beauty and character of an antique.
Without proper care and maintenance, this furniture can be damaged beyond repair. If you already have a piece of antique furniture in the house, it would be advisable to take proper care of it. You will be surprised how much longer it will last, and even become a main feature in the house. Here are a few tips and ideas on how to care for antique furniture.
1. Keep the Surface Waxed All the Time
This doesn’t only apply to antiques, all wooden furniture and surfaces should be waxed regularly to improve their look and feel, as well as durability. Proper waxing also encourages the development of patina too. Be sure to choose the best quality wax for waxing. Experts recommend natural beeswax, especially for antique furniture. Natural beeswax provides the nourishment required for the wood grain to bring out its colour, as well as protect the surface from elements such as moisture. The modern-day wax spray isn’t as effective as beeswax and even tends to damage the wood grain over time.
The process of waxing your furniture is relatively easy. All you need is a clean, soft, lint-free cloth and a little wax. Rub the wax in the grain’s direction until it produces shine. Drier wood might take some time to provide the desired shine – keep rubbing the wax until satisfied. Waxing alone isn’t enough to protect your furniture. You still need to polish the wooden surface regularly to ensure the wax creates a protective cover.
2. Be Careful With Its Positioning
Antique wooden furniture is made for display. Don’t hide it in the bedroom or the garage. You however need to be careful where you place the furniture. Although the antique might look great by the window, you will be exposing it to harmful UV rays which could degrade the grain. If you have to keep it by the window, ensure it isn’t in direct contact with sunlight. Direct sunlight will cause the wood to lose the patina and colour if exposed for too long.
Protect the furniture from high heat as well. This might sound almost impossible with the central heater left ON all the time. Keeping the furniture away from the vents might help reduce exposure to high heat. If this doesn’t seem possible, you might then be forced to keep waxing the furniture to prevent it from drying. A well-ventilated spot or room is the best place to position the antique wooden furniture.
3. Moving and Handling
Moving presents a wide range of risks to almost every furniture in the house. Most furniture and other equipment break during a move, one of the reasons you need to be careful when handling such. Avoid transporting your antiques in an overcrowded van or squeezing them in tight doorways. Due to the antique’s age, it should be handled with the utmost care and gentleness. Avoid dragging the furniture and instead, have two or more people move the furniture for you. Tilting an antique might cause it to break its legs, joints, or glides. You can, however, reduce the risks by removing any drawers before moving and handling the furniture from the lowest frame. As long as you are careful with how you handle this furniture, it will live to showcase its radiance and beauty in your house.
Antique wooden furniture might get damaged despite your effort to handle it carefully. Don’t lose hope if this happens. An experienced furniture restorer should be able to repair or restore the furniture to its former glory. The repairs should be minimal and hard to detect too. For this reason, repairing an antique take lots of time and experience for the restorer. Be patient with them as they go about the repair job.