Video:Caring for Antique Furniturewith Robert Wilson, Sterling Place
You've picked out the perfect antique piece for your home--now how do you take care of it? A pro shows you some inexpensive ways to care for your antique furniture.See Transcript
Transcript:Caring for Antique FurnitureHi, I'm Robert Wilson, co-owner of Sterling Place, and welcome to About.com Home. I would like to share with you today some things that you can do at home to care for your antique furniture and maintain them over the long term.
I am going to give you a few simple things that you can do that are inexpensive, that will help bring your furniture back to life.
Wipe Down the Antique FurnitureOne of the first things we do once we bring a piece in, usually from an outdoor market or another antique shop, we wipe it down and we use a special furniture wax. It's a European furniture wax that comes in different colors.
And what I have done here is, here's an example of a piece of furniture, and this was the original finish. You can see it's very dusty and dull. It's even got some paint marks on it.
Apply Wax to the Antique FurnitureWhat I did was I just took some very simple 4-0 steel wool and that's four zeros. You don't want it to be too harsh, otherwise you'll ruin the finish.
And then some of the furniture wax that we have. It has a beeswax compound, and it comes in different colors. So, even if you have some gauges or scratches, you try to pick a color that matches your piece best, and it blends it right in.
Refinish the AntiqueThe bottom part here is an example of something we did in a darker finish. A darker oak. Up here is a golden oak. And here is the original.
So you can see you don't have to refinish a piece necessarily when you buy it to bring back its original patina.
Ways to Maintain the Antique FurnitureFor ongoing maintenance you should apply wax every 3-4 months, or as needed. It will help your wood last longer. Things you also need to consider are never spray any aerosol cleaners directly on a finish.
This will over time eat away at the finish and cause permanent damage. What you want to do is take a rag and spray it directly into the rag, and then wipe it onto your furniture to keep that shine.
Consider Your ClimateThe other things you need to consider is what is your climate? If you're in New York City for example, where you have very humid summers and very cold winters, where a lot of the heat is steam heat, it pulls all of the moisture out of the air and that can do tremendous damage to wood furniture.
So you want to make sure that you have a humidifier going. During the summer months, if it is very humid, you can also use a de-humidifier.
In places like Arizona, it's the same thing. Extreme heat can cause damage to wood furniture.
Ways to Fix Stuck DrawersThe one thing we've probably all experienced is sticking drawers, and it can be very frustrating but there are some easy remedies.
One is if you've just bought a piece of furniture out in say a flea market that might have been very damp and it might have been out there for a few days. Just let the piece dry out for a little bit. Maybe one or two weeks to make sure.
Soap or Sand a Stuck DrawerIf the drawers still sticking, if it's a slight stick, you can use a bar of soap. It's as simple as that. However, more serious sticks might require some sanding.
And usually if you remove a drawer, you'll be able to see where the wear is on the side of the drawer. If you take some sandpaper , which you can get at any hardware store, and just start sanding that area and that should solve your problem.
But just do a little bit of sanding at a time and then put the drawer in. Just do a light sand and try it and then repeat the process until the sticking has stopped.
These are all very easy and inexpensive solutions that you can do at home. Thanks for watching, and to learn more, visit us on the web at homegarden.about.com.
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