Keep Antique Furniture Looking Like New

Firstly what you should not use.

Any product containing silicone. Silicone penetrates the lacquer and is still present even if the furniture is stripped back to the bare timber. Silicone prevents the lacquer from flowing either as a recoat or after stripping. The result is that the surface is riddled with small round holes going all the way back to the timber. It can be overcome but it is far easier without the silicone being there in the first place.

Any oil based product. Oil takes too long to dry and gathers airborne dust whilst drying. The next time anyone rubs the surface or applies a new coat of oil, the oil and dust form an abrasive that scratches the surface.

Wax is going to form a film on the surface. This may be a problem on a high gloss finish leaving smear marks that are very difficult to buff out. Wax can be used to help in making the surface more slippery and assist in deflecting sharp objects.

Surfaces can be cleaned with mineral turpentine or gum turpentine for oil-based dirt. Whereas a mild detergent will remove water-soluble marks. A fragrance can be added to either cleaner if required.

Crystal veneer can be used if the surface requires a very mild cut and polish to restore the shine and lustre of the finish.

Doors and drawers may stick from time to time if insufficient allowance has been made by the manufacturer for the timber’s normal expansion and contraction that is due to changes in humidity.

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