(with regular care and maintenance of course)
They just don’t make ‘em like they used to, and with a little TLC your antique items could last generations to come. With antique furniture comes solid wood pieces that are handcrafted by skilled tradesmen, and they do require some different care technique from modern or contemporary furniture.
Let’s begin with the furniture faux pas so you can avoid damaging your pieces. Never use pressurized spray furniture polish on your antique. These products often contain chemicals that can be harmful to your antique. If you have a grimy build up avoid using water as it can warp and distort the wood and cause joints to swell. To keep the beautiful finish and lustre, avoid direct sunlight, heat and humidity. This will help prolong the life of your antique tenfold. Although it may seem like a good idea, real feather dusters can cause more harm than good. The feathers can break or crack leaving a sharp edge than can potentially scratch the finish, so use soft microfiber dusters and rags.
Here is an example of what can happen with poor maintenance and care.
Your first step in cleaning and maintaining your wood piece is to determine what type of wood and finish was used. Make sure you follow all directions as listed by the manufacturer for any of these products. This will help you achieve the best possible results and avoid damages. A furniture wax is going to be your best friend when it comes to your wood furniture. Wax will offer both moisture and protection as well as long term care. If done properly, waxing can be done as little as once per year. Wax will not offer a heat resistance, so ensure to use coasters if placing any hot beverages on your furniture. There are also oil finishes such as Bald's Furniture Balm (pictured below), which would be applied before. These types of polish offer more of a cosmetic aspect but little protection so it is best to use them in conjunction with the other. The oil can be used to touch up the finish in between waxing to rejuvenate the wood. Lastly, you can use a film finish such as a beeswax polish which will protect against water marks, minor scratches and will seal the wood.
Click Here to purchase your very own bottle!
Lastly, if you have metal hardware on your wood piece that you want to polish, be careful. The compounds used on metal are very different than what you would use on wood. Steer clear of ammonia-based products as they can be damaging to both the metal and wood. Many enthusiasts suggest to leave the tarnished metal as is, to bring character to your piece.
Always do your research and follow all directions when it comes to using any product on your antiques and you will be rewarded beautiful furniture to last a lifetime.