Antique malls and resale shops are filled to the brim with many wonderful and unique pieces of furniture. Filling a home with authentic antiques is an amazing way to decorate. However, older furniture may not have always been treated with delicacy through the years. As a result, scuffing, scars, and worn-down finishes aren’t uncommon.
People often don’t realize that painting over damage is not the only solution, let alone even the best. On the contrary, wood is a very forgiving material and enjoyable to work with. Follow these beginner tips for restoring antique wood furniture and never again turn down a beautiful piece simply because of wear!
Essential Tips for Maintaining Beauty
Older furniture often features different finishes than those we use today in terms of chemical makeup. To begin with, most antiques don’t have water-resistant surfaces, making them very vulnerable to stains. To clean an antique piece, seek out a gentle furniture polish. Rub a small section of the finish with the product to ensure it doesn’t strip any finish away before wiping down the entire piece.
Antiques are generally all solid wood, so they can be heavy as well. It’s best not to move them once placed, but if necessary, you can use furniture coasters. Antique depression glass coasters are even available for people looking to maintain the rustic look. Finally, protect the typically unfinished wood interiors with traditional drawer liners. These valuable household items were once essential parts of furniture upkeep when many pieces were new.
How To Restore by Hand
Once you’ve cleaned the piece, it’s time to start restoring. The best beginner tips for restoring antique wood furniture are those that remind us to have fun and take our time. The best way to remove the old finish depends on how heavy the damage is. Deeply scarred pieces will benefit from the even pressure of an electric sander. Grooves, curves, and otherwise undamaged or irregularly shaped sections should be hand-sanded. To avoid adding to the damage, always use a medium to light grit of sandpaper.
Once you’ve stripped the old finish, choose a new finish and a polish. Matching to the old color shouldn’t be too hard, if that’s what you want, as many quality pieces stick to a fundamental mahogany tone. Refinishing is also a great opportunity to update the exterior with a better finish, such as a waterproof option. Refinishing rather than painting over is a fantastic way to repair a piece of history and add value to your unique collection. The restoration process might take a while, but your antiques are worth the effort.