What are some of the steps to take when restoring the coatings on antique furniture?
Restoring the coatings on antique furniture ensures that it not only retains its value, but also that you keep it looking great for years to come. The first step in restoring antique furniture coatings is examining and evaluating the areas that require restoration. Study the damage and try to find a cause of deterioration, using educational materials or with the help of a professional. Testing the surface with solvents helps to understand how the protective coatings might react to cleaning and restoration liquids. After taking these evaluative steps to understand the composition and characteristics of the coating, restorers can begin applying new coatings to damaged areas, or stripping the original coating entirely and matching it to what was previously there. Taking into consideration the overall condition and history of the piece is an important factor when deciding how to restore or refinish antique furniture, which is often best when done by a professional that has experience handling antiques.
In what type of environment should you keep antique furniture?
When storing and caring for antique furniture pieces, keep them away from ultraviolet light, as sunlight can damage finishes on wood and can fade fabrics. Keeping antique furniture away from heat or air conditioning units is also important, as they may shrink important elements like glues and cause the pieces to loosen at the joints. Frequently check for insects and pests like beetles, termites, cockroaches, and small rodents, as they can damage antique furniture. With lack of moisture, antique furniture made of wood may dry out, so keeping such pieces out of hot, arid areas like attics is a good idea. Using a high-quality wax paste maintains a varnished finish on antique furniture, though caretakers should follow expert or manufacturer instructions closely when applying wax.